The Magic Influence Of Big Band Swing

The Magic Influence Of Big Band Swing

Speak of swing music to a child today and they will look in the direction of the nearest playground. In their mind of the most polite child the sound a rusty swing set in full tilt will play a toneless tune. As this child grows up he or she will be taught about the masters of jazz, the big band swing artists that helped influence every kind of music they download and blast into their skulls through oversized and colorful headphones. They will learn about Jazz, America’s greatest art form, and it’s humble beginnings. How before Drake there was Sting and before Sting there was Bowie and before Bowie there was Dylan and before Dylan there was Little Richard and then Chuck Berry and Elvis and Buddy Holly and Sinatra and the list goes on.

The Gift Of The Past
There was a short mainstream revival of swing music in the 90’s with the popularity of “Zoot Suit Riot” by The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. A spark like that one or the homage paid to the swing era in movies such as the remake of The Great Gatsby in which swing music, fashion and culture is blended with today’s edm style parties and beats are all the fuel needed to get a child’s curiosity about swing music set ablaze. And that’s what’s great about well-preserved great forgotten music—it’s a treasure trove of history, entertainment and inspiration.

Looking Back To Move Forward
Discovering the great big band swing artists undoubtedly has changed the lives of many great artists we know and listen to today. Hip-hop musicians have been using samples and cuts from jazz from the very beginning. One hip-hop artist in particular, Flying Lotus, is gaining a lot of popularity with his jazz cuts blended with his own beats. Flying Lotus has sited Madlib, another hip-hop producer who has turned towards jazz for inspiration, as an influence on his music. Again, today’s youth need only to hear one cut, one slice of the classic big band swing sound to peak their curiosity.

Swing Today
Swing music is still being performed today and is as entertaining and enchanting as ever, but for those discovering it for the first time, there is nothing quite as magical as the old black and white grainy films of an old performance. Whether it’s the showmanship, the tuxedos, sound quality or the great ballrooms the music was performed in that makes these performances so intoxicating is unclear, but one thing is for certain, there is nothing quite like a classic big band swing performance.

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