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News and Views '11/'12 # 7
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Allen Hall
MN Prince of Snark Darkness


Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 495
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: News and Views '11/'12 # 7 Share topic on FB Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

News and Views from the Hall JazzLindyMobile
‘11/’12 Installment # 7

LISTEN TO JAZZ, DANCE INFREQUENTLY, DON’T DRIVE FAR, REPEAT

(Two printed pages; reading time 6 minutes; go ahead time it.)

Table of Contents.
1. Miami University Lindy Exchange…Not
2. The Generations Big Band
3. The Dayton Smackdown
4. Back to the Wed. Nite Swingout Dayton Dance
5. Coming Attractions

THE (OHIO) MIAMI UNIVERSITY LINDY EXCHANGE….NOT

This entry is better labeled “That was the week that wasn’t” Let me count the days and ways.
(As preamble, this. See, I am an exercise junkie, and I try to get some every day, but the pathology in my weight-bearing joints limits me to stretching and light calisthenics in the gym or Lindy Hopping, but not both in one day.)
Sunday: Rudy was suffering from a cold which she first noticed last Wednesday. The gym is closed.
Monday I went to the gym. Rudy is worse.
Tuesday: I went to the gym. Rudy is worse still—this is not good.
Wednesday: I did not go to the gym as I intended to dance tonight, but Rudy is even worse, so no dancing.
Thursday: I went to the gym. Rudy never got off the couch.
Friday: It snowed overnight and I did not go to the gym, and whatever chance we had to dance at Miami U Lindy Exchange was gone because of bad roads, and Rudy is still on the couch, but hope springs eternal, so I popped for two tix for 14 bucks on-line for the Saturday night dance.
Saturday: I did not go to the gym. Rudy is still on the couch and the prospects of still slick roads kept me from driving over there as a class-2 bachelor/dancer. So, Instead, I decided to go hear the Dayton Jazz Orchestra at Gilly’s (A Dayton jazz venue) for 5 bucks. When I got to the door the tix were 15 bucks—what gives?—I guess I read it wrong in the paper. Turns out I really did read it wrong. When I got in and sat down I noticed that the band had not started, and it was well after their advertised start time. And, more alarming, the stage was not set up as for a big band. What gives? Turns out the DJO played on Thursday night. So I sat in a hard chair waiting to hear “Touch” a sextet which promised to revive memories of ‘60s pop music, one of my least favorite forms of music, but I decided to stay because I was drunk during much of the ‘60s, and it might be all new to me. The room was soon SRO, with mostly elegantly-dressed wide-bodies who filled up the chairs with wide butts and the air with loud table talk. I sat silently alone, feeling like a toad in an ordinary shirt and trousers. After 75 minutes in the hard chair with nothing stirring on stage, I remembered suffering through a Lonnie Mack show in Gilly’s which left me with 4+ tinnitus for a week—It’s been long suspected that Mr. Gillatti, the owner of Gilly’s is stone deaf—and since there were more than a couple of 4 and 6 string ‘lectrofied instruments on stage, I left and drove home.
P.S. to top it off Pro LH instructor, Micheal Faltesek, who was supposed to teach also couldn’t make it to The Miami Lindy Hop Exchange—he got weather-stuck in Portland, so I guess I’m not the only one suffering from a bad week.
The weekly totals:
1. Number of opportunities to dance in days—3 (No! make the 4). Days dancing—0
2. Number of opportunities to go to the gym in days---6. Days at the gym—3
3. Expenditures for dance and music---$29. Dancing done and music heard—Zip
I guess it could have been worse. I might have died last week of Pontiac Disease, (Squashed to a purple mud by a Pontiac.)
*Run down and squashed into a purple mud by a speeding Pontiac.

“THE GENERATIONS BIG BAND”

I caught them on their first ever gig at Jazz Central In Dayton. I was one of 6 curious people in the audience, and the band was less than impressive: First the good news; a not-shy drummer, three full horn sections and a four piece rhythm section which is tolerable. Next comes the good and bad news; two good singers who talk too much, and a small but well-selected book of arrangements. Finally, the bad news; no good nor even tolerable soloists, shaky horn ensemble work playing more than a few clams.
Fast forward a couple of months. Rudy and I went to Jazz Central for another taste of The Generations Big Band. Jazz Central has a small but enlarged area for dancing. The linoleum surface was good and we got in a couple of dances to their fast tempos, which is relative with this band. The joint was SRO. Go Figure? But the band got a plug in the Dayton Daily News that week—so much for the power of advertising. We stayed for two full sets, and the band has three primary tempo gaits; slow for ballads, moderate @ 120 bpm, and fast @ 144. Maybe they just can’t play any faster. Sigh! Anyway, the two singers are still good, and still talk to much trying to imitate budding stand-up comics, but the horn ensemble work was much tighter. However, the soloists are just as inept. The tenor saxophonist in the solo chair has a box tone, which is the tone that came in the box with the horn when it was newly purchased. I know what a box tone sounds like because I became preternaturally expert in producing that tone when I owned a tenor saxophone.

THE DAYTON SMACKDOWN

This is an annual weekend LH event in Dayton Ohio featuring contests for best LH Dance Team and Best Collegiate LH Dance Team. Six teams entered and Columbus again won overall best team. I was struck by how good the choreography was, but not all of the dancing was equally superlative. We attended the two evening DJed dances at The Baum Opera House, an old venue with an upstairs original Maple floor in very good dance condition. The acoustics were fine, but there was not enough seating for a large turnout, I’m guessing well over 100 dancers. I enjoyed the selections of all but one DJ, and one DJ preferred tempos at fast and faster. Sigh! Peter and Naomi headed a 6 dancer teaching faculty. We had a good time, and I was shoved out into a surprise 80th birthday gang dance.

BACK TO THE WED NITE SWINGOUT DAYTON DANCE

You may recall in N&V ’12 #6, that I donned my snarkiest hat and roasted this venue for darkness. Well, after 10 years of complaints, they have finally received the nudge. LIGHT!!!! There was light from IKEA lamps all about. Perhaps not enough to entirely hold back the stygian night and satisfy me—am I going blind?--but enough so I could recognize people, and not grope for a hand after a free spin. Huzzahs to them, and, otherwise, they seem to be more welcoming and warm than before; guys came up and asked Rudy to dance, but then, to be fair, who, without night-vision goggles, could have previously even know she was there.
We had a good time, got properly sweaty on their gorgeous hardwood floor, hearing a good sound system, playing a musical variety at manageable tempos. About 20 dancers showed, and the people who run the venue seem open to increasing their promotion for this weekly event. I sure hope so, because it is an expanse of floor which needs the dancer-provided energy of a larger crowd. Too many sitters now—too many talkers now. In my experience and judgment, more people on the dance floor begets yet more people on the dance floor. Can you ask, are Swing Dancers responsive to herding stimuli? I damn sure hope so.

COMING ATTRACTIONS
1. Mo dancin’?
2. Buckeye Bobcat Lindy Exchange (Ohio State U and Ohio U Lindy Clubs sponsored weekend) Maybe.
3. Doubtless, other items r.e. Jazz and Lindy Hop, including a major disappointment.
4. Book Review of “Swing Dancing” by Tammy Stevens

(See, I told you so. Thanks for reading.)

Allen Hall, Lindy Hopper
March 5, 2012. In (surprise) warmish Dayton Ohio

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