Friday, April 23, 2010

Boogie Woogie Son Of KV Rambo?

Is that the KV Rambo's son Todd Schefflin dancing up a storm? Todd will be appearing with his group the JT Project tomorrow night at Club Groove in Greenwich Village, 125 Macdougal Street,from 7:00PM - 9:15PM
About the above video from Kelly's Lounge
This pianist is from Switzerland. His name is Silvan Zingg. He plays some of the best most authentic Boogie-Woogie around these days. He is so BIG over there they hold a week-long Boogie-Woogie contest every year and all the best boogie players in the world are invited. In this video he is joined by two very good dancers. The male dancer even has a forties haircut.
For your info, Boogie-Woogie gained much public attention in 1938 and 1939 thanks to the "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts in Carnegie Hall promoted by record producer John Hammond. The concerts featured Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson performing Turner's tribute to Johnson, "Roll 'Em Pete", as well as Meade Lux Lewis performing "Honky Tonk Train Blues" and Albert Ammons playing "Swanee River Boogie". These three pianists, with Turner, took up residence in the Café Society night club in New York City where they were popular with the sophisticated set. They often played in combinations of two and even three pianos creating a richly textured piano performance.
After the Carnegie Hall concerts it was only natural for swing bands to incorporate the boogie beat into some of their music. One of the first to do this was the Will Bradley orchestra, starting in 1939, which got them a string of boogie hits such as the original versions of "Beat Me Daddy (Eight To The Bar)" and "Down The Road A-Piece", both 1940, and "Scrub Me Mamma With A Boogie Beat" in 1941. The Andrews Sisters sang some boogies and Tommy Dorsey's band had a hit with an updated version of "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" in 1938 which was the swing era's second best seller only second to Glenn Miller's "In the Mood". After the floodgates were open it was expected that every big band should have one or two boogie numbers in their repertoire as the dancers were learning to jitterbug and do the Lindy Hop which required the boogie beat.
Amongst the many pianists who have been exponents of this genre there are only a few who have had a lasting influence on the music scene. Perhaps the most well known Boogie-Woogie pianist is Albert Ammons. His "Boogie Woogie Stomp" released in 1936 was a pivotal recording not just for Boogie-Woogie but for music. Some of the flattened sevenths in the right hand riffs are similar to licks used by early rock and roll guitarists. Ammons' two main compatriots were Meade 'Lux' Lewis and Pete Johnson. Before these three were playing piano, the two leading pianists were Jimmy Yancey and 'Pine-Top' Smith. Both of these pianists used bass patterns similar to ragtime and stride piano, but the distinctive Boogie-Woogie right hand licks were already in use.
Today, Boogie-Woogie is being taken forward by such pianists as Rob Rio, Silvan Zingg and particularly Axel Zwingenberger, whose records and performances have a great influence on the contemporary scene.
For you who have never seen or heard Boogie-Woogie before or just don't remember, here's how it's done today.

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