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The Palace of Nostalgia

thu 10 nov 2016 06:00 

Jazz, blues and nostalgia, by Sjaak Roodenburg. Today, the glory years of Swing. 

We return to the days of big band. Large orchestras, sometimes consisting of thirty or forty musicians, played the pop music of the thirties and forties. In ecstasy, hordes of young people fled to swing stars like Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. The latter looked like a freeze-dried bookkeeper, but that didn’t stop him from unleashing the ‘era of Swing’ in 1934, when he, after a struggling series of concerts, started to play the wild swing arrangements of Fletcher Henderson. Not only was the dance hall suddenly bursting at the seams due to the radio broadcast in that same Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, but all of America was obsessed with swing music that night. ‘It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing,’ like the name of one of Duke Ellington’s compositions. All in all, an hour of highlight from the golden age of big bands.

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