Women of jazz: theme night playlist (Mar 30, 2017)

Hey everyone,

Here’s the playlist from Nirav and me from the first ever music theme night at the 920 Special. The theme – as you know – was women in jazz.

Before I get to the songs, I wanted to add a few thoughts.

Thank you so much – all you dancers that came and supported & encouraged us; as well as all the people that sent suggestions via Facebook and in person. Thanks Nirav – so great partnering with you.

We will definitely have more nights where we focus on women in jazz. There is so much more amazing music we could not play and still want to showcase: Both Nirav and I barely touched the surface of what all we could have played; and had come prepared with many more hours of music than one night. Further, all the research and preparation we did; left us feeling there is so much inspiration to be had from all the amazing women throughout jazz history; just need to look more.

Having said that, yes, there are obviously way fewer instances of women as bandleaders, songwriters and featured instrumentalists over jazz history – it is up to all of us to find out, explore and appreciate those artists and the music as much as we can. This is what we tried to especially focus on – while picking what songs to play.

Enjoy the list – drop us a note that let us know what you thought! What were your favorites?

 

Set 1 (DJed by Dhruv):

Song : Hop Scop Blues
Artist : Lillian Boutté & Her American Band
Album : Live in Tivoli 1992
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, vocalist Lillian Boutte

 
Song : The Darktown Strutters Ball
Artist : Alberta Hunter
Album : Amtrak Blues
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, vocalist Alberta Hunter

 
Song : Mess-a-Stomp
Artist : Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy
Album : The Mary Lou Williams Collection 1927-59
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Song written by Mary Lou Williams, also on piano

 
Song : Betcha Nickel
Artist : Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra
Album : Queen Of The Savoy: Early Years, Vol. 2 1937-39
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Ella Fitzgerald as bandleader, vocalist and song written by her (And Chick Webb)

 
Song : I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
Artist : Boswell Sisters
Album : The Boswell Sisters Swing!
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Sung by the Boswell Sisters

 
Song : Jazz Me Blues
Artist : Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses
Album : The B-Sides – New Orleans Compilation
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, reeds Aurora Nealand

 
Song : Froggy Bottom (Take 2)
Artist : Kansas City Band
Album : KC After Dark
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Written by Mary Lou Williams

 
Song : Gimme A Pigfoot (And A Bottle Of Beer)
Artist : Nina Simone
Album : Nina Simone With Strings (Remastered 2004)
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, piano and vocals by Nina Simone, song originally made popular by Bessie Smith

 
Song : Oh I’m Evil (Walker)
Artist : Una Mae Carlisle
Album : Una Mae Carlisle: 1938-1941
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, vocals and piano Una Mae Carlisle

 

Set 2 (DJed by Nirav) 

 

Song : I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Artist : Billie Holiday
Album : Billie’s Best
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Billie Holiday

 
Song : Jive at Five
Artist : Mint Julep Jazz Band
Album : Durham on Saturday Night
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Co-bandleader Laura Windley

 
Song : Georgia On My Mind
Artist : Anita O’Day
Album : Let Me Off Uptown: The Best of Anita O’Day
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Anita O’Day

 
Song : The Dwindling Light By the Sea
Artist : Mint Julep Jazz Band
Album : That New Old Sound
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Co-bandleader & vocalist Laura Windley

 
Song : Watch the Birdie
Artist : Anita O’Day
Album : Let Me Off Uptown: The Best of Anita O’Day
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Anita O’Day

 

Birthday / special occasion /out of towner jam song

Song : Coquette
Artist : Jen Hodge All Stars
Album : Guilty Pleasures
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & bassist Jen Hodge

 
Song : I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling
Artist : Emily Asher’s Garden Party
Album : Meet Me In The Morning
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, trombonist, & vocalist Emily Asher

 
Song : Careless Love
Artist : Tuba Skinny
Album : Tuba Skinny
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & cornetist Shaye Cohn, vocalist Erika Lewis

 
Song : Roc City Stomp (Live)
Artist : Gordon Webster
Album : That New Old Sound
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Reeds Aurora Nealand

 
Song : Roll ‘Em
Artist : Bernard Berkhout
Album : Doctor Bernard and His Swing Orchestra
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Writer Mary Lou Williams

 
Song : Pennies From Heaven
Artist : Naomi & Her Handsome Devils
Album : The Devils’ Music
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & vocalist Naomi Uyama

 

Set 3 (DJed by Dhruv) 

 

Song : Tuxedo Junction
Artist : The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm
Album : The Best Of The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm
Who are we featuring/focusing on : All women band!

 
Song : Garden Party Party
Artist : Emily Asher’s Garden Party
Album : Meet Me in the Morning
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, trombone Emily Asher

 
Song : Lindy Hop
Artist : Lil Armstrong
Album : Perfect Swing
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, piano, vocals Lil Hardin Armstrong

 
Song : That’s How Rhythm Was Born
Artist : The Boswell Sisters
Album : That’s How Rhythm Was Born
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Sung by the Boswell Sisters

 
Song : Baby, You Got What It Takes
Artist : Dinah Washington
Album : Dinah Washington: The Millenium Collection
Who are we featuring/focusing on : First recorded by Dinah Washington (+Brook Benton)

 
Song : TV Is The Thing This Year
Artist : Dianne Reeves
Album : Good Night, And Good Luck
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist, bandleader Dianne Reeves; original recording by Dinah Washington (Song featured as ‘one of the songs that helped shape Rock’n’Roll)

 
Song : Swing Is The Thing
Artist : Valaida Snow
Album : 1937-1940
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, trumpet, vocals by Valaida Snow (Although she could play cello, bass, banjo, violin, mandolin, harp, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, and saxophone – all at pro levels!)

 
Song : Love me or leave me
Artist : Nina Simone
Album : Verve Jazz Masters 17
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Piano, vocals, bandleader Nina Simone

 

(Request for a song to Tranky Doo too)
Song : The Dipsy Doodle
Artist : Chick Webb
Album : Stomping At The Savoy
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocals by Ella Fitzgerald

 
Song : Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train
Artist : Mabel Scott
Album : Men Are Like Street Cars – Women Blues Singers 1928 – 1969
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, vocalist Mabel Scott

 
Song : If I Can’t Sell It (I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It)
Artist : Terra Hazelton
Album : Gimme Whatcha Got
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, vocalist Terra Hazelton

 
Song : Riffin’ The Blues
Artist : Lil Hardin Armstrong
Album : 1936-1940 Anthology
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader,piano Lil Hardin Armstrong

 
Song : Drop Me Off In Harlem
Artist : Victrola
Album : Victrola
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Alice Spencer

 
Song : My Blue Heaven
Artist : The Cangelosi Cards
Album : Clinton Street Recordings, I
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Tamar Korn

 

Set 4 (DJed by Nirav)

 

Song : Opus One
Artist : Anita O’Day
Album : Let Me Off Uptown: The Best of Anita O’Day
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Anita O’Day

 
Song : When I Get Low I Get High
Artist : Linnzi Zaorski
Album : Hotsy Totsy
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Writer Marion Sunshine, bandleader & vocalist Linnzi Zaorski

 
Song : Sunny Side of the Street
Artist : Benny Goodman & Peggy Lee
Album : Small Groups: 1941-1945
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Lyricist Dorothy Fields, vocalist Peggy Lee

 
Song : Straighten Up And Fly Right
Artist : Company B Jazz Band
Album : Company B Jazz Band
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & bassist Jen Hodge

 
Song : I’m Alone Because I love You
Artist : Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns
Album : Lucky Devil
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & vocalist Meschiya Lake

 

 
Song : In a Mellow Tone
Artist : Mint Julep Jazz Band
Album : Durham on Saturday Night
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Co-bandleader Laura Windley

 
Song : Sugar
Artist : Naomi & Her Handsome Devils
Album : The Devils’ Music
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & vocalist Naomi Uyama

 
Song : Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina
Artist : Anita O’Day
Album : Let Me Off Uptown: The Best of Anita O’Day
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Vocalist Anita O’Day

 
Song : Travellin’ All Alone
Artist : Kally Price & The Lazybirds
Album : If You Like Good Cookin’
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader & vocalist Kally Price

 
Song : If I Didn’t Care
Artist : Mint Julep Jazz Band
Album : Durham on Saturday Night
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Co-bandleader & vocalist Laura Windley

 
Song : I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Artist : Naomi & Her Handsome Devils
Album : Naomi & Her Handsome Devils
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Lyricist Dorothy Fields, bandleader & vocalist Naomi Uyama

 
Song : Exactly Like You
Artist : Mint Julep Jazz Band
Album : Battle Axe
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Co-bandleader & vocalist Laura Windley

 
Song : Moanin’ Low
Artist : Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses
Album : The LookBack Transmission
Who are we featuring/focusing on : Bandleader, reeds, & vocalist Aurora Nealand

Theme night 1: the Women of jazz

Theme night 1: the Women of jazz

Credit: written by Nirav Sanghani

Hi folks!

To kick off our first DJ theme night at the 9:20 Special, we are going to pull from the rich catalog of female musicians, composers, and bandleaders.

We’ll DJ the innovative music of the great female bandleaders and composers from throughout the twentieth century plus tunes from a broad swath of the many talented and creative women making this music today.

While we’ll certainly play music from popular creative powerhouses like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, we’re going to try to expose you to lesser-known artists and recordings as much as possible. We especially want to emphasize on the role of women as bandleaders, composers, arrangers and featured instrumentalists.

Afterwards, we will publish our set lists along with notes about why each tune was included. Do send us any suggestions / recommendations if you have any.

See you there!

Nirav and Dhruv

And so they begin: music theme nights at the 920 Special!

Hello fellow 920 Special dancers!

I am really excited – next Thursday (Mar 30, 2017) we kick off our monthly ‘music theme’ nights. I don’t think this is something that has been tried at the 920 Special before.

What does that mean?

For the foreseeable future, every last Thursday of each month will be a ‘music theme’ night. Each theme night will be focused on some aspect of this wonderful music we all are so hopelessly addicted to. On some nights, we might focus on some particular musician(s), on others we might focus on a sub-genre or a portion of jazz history (Historic Savoy battles! Territory Bands! Sidemen that later led their own bands!); or perhaps even geography (Swing outside the US, anyone?)

We are starting big: March is women’s history month. We could not do better than focus on some of the most amazing, inspiring women jazz and swing musicians through the decades, including this most recent one.  But more on that in a later post.

Why music theme nights?

Music is such a massive part of our dance. For many of us, it’s why we dance!

Of course, knowing the music makes you a better dancer – how often have you heard about dancing to the music; or being part of the music as you dance?

But beyond all that, beyond the mechanics, the rhythms and melodies, the theory and the beat; there is a deeper connection to be had with this amazing music we love.

Who all is involved with this? Which DJ will represent which theme?

Why, your very own 920 Special DJs. We are incredibly lucky in having some of the best DJs in the country. I know that each one of my DJ colleagues makes every night they DJ look easy – but I also know there’s a lot of hard work, passion and dedication behind it. In other words – every theme night is going to be amazing because our DJs really are the best!

We’ve designed this together, as a team. I reached out to everyone earlier this year. Most of them responded enthusiastically; even though a theme night is definitely more work than a ‘regular’ night.

We came up with tons of ideas. Everyone voted for their favorite ones – what nights they would like to be involved in. Naturally, some themes were super popular – after all, everyone wants to be part of a Duke Ellington/Count Basie showdown! Other themes are more challenging – not too many takers for those. So we’ve created a schedule of these theme nights while respecting both peoples’ preferences and availability.

How can you help? Get involved?

For starters, let me know what you think! What are some themes you’d like to see? What are some artists you’d want to see featured? What’s important to you? How did the night go? Come talk to us – Iris, Kirk, Allen or me.