In the years before rock and roll took the world by storm, one of the most popular styles of music was big band jazz and swing. The catchy rhythms and brassy energy of classic swing music have influenced music around the world. From American swing revivalists to the bouncy guitar and violin riffs of French Gypsy jazz, African township jive and beyond, Swing Around the World is a unique collection of songs from the US and abroad that reveal the global impact of classic swing music. Putumayo. 2005.
Swing is a jazzy, dance-oriented style that emerged in the USA during the 1930s and 40s. Its catchy refrains and inventive rhythms provided an uplifting, resolutely escapist soundtrack for the Depression and World War Two. During his ongoing search for world music that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, Putumayo producer Jacob Edgar located an engaging assortment of modern-day practitioners. Some are based in expected locales (New Orleans and elsewhere in the USA; others most definitely are not (Zimbabwe, Italy, Mauritius). The combos are fairly small and exuberantly extroverted. Each speaks the swing lingo fluently but many have an enchanting accent. That some tracks so strongly resemble the loopy, subversively giddy scores of classic Warner Brothers and Popeye cartoons will certainly help draw in the kiddies. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit former New York City Ballet star Jacques D'Amboise's non-profit National Dance Institute, which helps make dance and music programs accessible to schoolchildren around the world. --Christina Roden