Next dance evening of Balboa Special will be the #10 edition. Previous performances had no specific themes and I used to spin records quite by random choise. When you spin with records for the dance floor you learn a lot about not just dance-floor craft and mood, but also the DJ equipment and your record collection. The latter in specific teaches you to become more efficient – faster and clear on your choises – within the three minutes which in general is the lenght of one song, but to be so, you should know what you have within reach (albums of artists, their songs, years and places of recordings, levels of tempos etc.), and the more you go through that the easier it gets. Eventually.
Yes, being a record collector has many benefits, and it’s quite in an excitement to keep searching and expanding your music library, but we always begin with something. My journey of being a DJ and a record collector began long before I held my first record (in fact it was a CD), back then when my taste for swing jazz was just about to develop.
Two years before I actually start dancing swing I bought the CD, wrapped together with an Italian magazine about home interior and its design. I need to mention that my main occupatuon was Visual-merchandiser at that time and I was looking for work inspiration anywhere I could. Those kind of magazines are often highly priced, but in this case, the price sounded quite reasnoble if I also got a CD with it. Seeing now all this, it was actually a very good thing that I gave to myself, not so much from the magazine part but the music that came along with that CD.
At first I hadn’t paid much attention to music from the CD but when I listened to it, which was on rare occasion, that music made my foot tap every time. Two years later, when my Lindy-hop had already improved, I found this dusty CD and I put in the player for the “old-time’s” sake. And then I play it again, and again, and then again. The selection on this CD featured an artist and his collaboration with many different bands, but nothing sounded close what they played on dance floor at that time.
Despite the fact it was not impossible to Lindy-hop to it, it elevated my taste in Jazz – the music I never understood before and because of it I eventually began to explore the new dance that would match this “other kind” of dancing music – The Balboa!
The feature artist on this CD is Chu Berry ‘On Parade’ whose tenor sax sound could be heard on many dance occasions, but never really pointed out as important as a sound for swing dancers, till now.
At Balboa Special #10 l will dedicate the evening to musician whose work set me on the path of Jazz and Balboa. In my collection, I located one hundred-twenty recorded works of Chu Berry but it will be hard to fit all in a three hour program. I will try my best to introduce you to Chu Berry in his wide range of work, from famous solos to fine riff support in sax ensemble.
About Chu Berry click here