Le Dancing Pepa • Dancin’ in Storyville

If you’re a swing dancer, you know how frustrating it is when the band booked for an event hasn’t been briefed on what good dancing music is. You know, when they spool each tune out for ten minutes, stuffing it full of lightning-fast solos. Sure it makes good listening, but you ain’t there to listen—you’re there to connect with people and with music in a way everyone enjoys, without having a heart attack in the attempt. So it’s always good—in these dance-poor times, when we’re all out of practice and kitchen lino is the best floor we have—to stumble upon a class act like Le Dancing Pepa. Hailing from Valencia in Spain, this swinging six-piece has played Lindy, shag and balboa festivals all over the Continent since 2014, so you know they’re dancer-approved. (They played international battle of the bands The World Jam in 2015 and even backed Swedish sensation Gunhild Carling.) New platter Dancin’ in Storyville sets off at a hundred miles an hour, opening with an extended bass solo on a particularly pacy version of Johnny Hodges’s “Duke’s in Bed.” But fret not—there’s something on here for everyone, from beginner boppers to veteran hoppers. The tempo tumbles through “You Got to Pay” and “That Warm Feeling,” hitting a particularly mellow groove on Count Basie’s “Easy Does It”—a certified toe-tapper, whether you’re swinging out after cl
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Dave Doyle is a swing dancer, dance teacher, and journalist based in Gloucestershire, England. Write him at [email protected]. Find him on Twitter @DaveDoyleComms.

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