Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Swing Thing (first broadcast on BBC Four on December 19th) will be available for viewing until 10.59 pm Friday December 26th on BBC iPlayer. The 90 minute documentary explores the evolution of swing, from the 1920s till today through interviews with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Norma Miller, and old film clips. Once billed as “dangerous music that made you have sex with people”, swing, in the words of the BBC, "inspired the first ever youth culture revolution and became a byword for sexual liberation and teenage excess well before the Swinging Sixties."

If you're an avid swing music lover, be sure to catch this show while it's still available. Watching the vintage footage of Louis Armstrong - one of my favourite jazz musicians ever because of the sheer genius of his improvisations - sent shivers down my spine.

From a 1973 interview:
Michael Parkinson: Did you ever have trouble with federal agents (at the Cotton Club during the Prohibition)?
Duke Ellington: No. There was never anything left for them to confiscate.

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