CULTURE

Swinging shindig at the Half Note

Jive, aka jitterbug jive, was born during a fabulous dance sequence by Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a 1930s cartoon. It was African-American musicians and dancers, however, who spread the word in the 1940s. Essentially, jive is a variation of jitterbug, or a «louder» version of swing. At the Half Note Jazz Club this week, the Dutch Jump n’ Jive band goes back to the days of Louis Jordan, as well as the more rock’n’roll tunes of Fats Domino and Ray Charles. The group’s lead singer Bert Vrieling is accompanied by three vocalists, a tap dancer and a music ensemble featuring wind instruments, guitar and Hammond organ. An experienced rock’n’roll artist, Vrieling joined forces with the rest of the group in the 1980s. They have since recorded a number of vivacious albums. «We started out as rock’n’roll quartet in the mid-1980s, though we all hailed from different musical backgrounds,» said Vrieling to Kathimerini. «At the time, I was immersed in electronic pop, while the guitarist, the bassist and the drummer were all into fusion jazz. Yet we were all fond of more traditional ensembles and our bassist was the one who threw out the idea of turning to jive. Our direct inspiration came from American band Asleep at the Wheel, Louis Jordan’s Tympany Five and Joe Jackson’s album ‘Jumpin’ Jive.’» While swing appears to be enjoying a revival in many countries, Jump n’ Jive’s influences also include rhythm’n’blues singer Big Joe Turner and Willie Dixon all the way to traditional jazz bands such as Count Basie, Jelly Roll Morton, Joe «King» Oliver, Fats Waller and Fletcher Henderson. At the Half Note Jazz Club, the fun is guaranteed. Half Note Jazz Club, 17 Trivonianou, Mets, tel 210.921.3310. Performances run to Thursday.