How Good is Concert in the Park for Swing Dancing?

The NEW Concert in the Park (+8) CD includes five more swing dance tunes.
Click here for its evaluation!

Let's evaluate the Roseville Big Band's Concert in the Park recording against some of the criteria in "What's the 'Best' Swing Music to Buy?" by Cindy Gardner (Strutter's Quarterly Vol 12, Issue 1, Winter 2001/2002).

As Cindy says at the beginning of the article, "That's a tough question. There are so many styles of music that are good for swing dancing!" So we won't evaluate the artistic merits of the performance; we'll concentrate on more objective criteria.

First criterion: Price. Cindy says, "It's pretty standard and reasonable to find pricing at about $1 per tune."

Concert in the Park has 13 songs and the CD sells for around $15 (including tax), making it about $1.15 per tune. Not so good.

But wait! If you buy the CD at one of the band's live performances, it's only $13 (including tax), hitting the $1.00 mark squarely on the head. And if you buy the cassette rather than the CD at a live performance, it's only $8—only 62¢ per tune. Now that's a bargain!

Second criterion: Percentage of danceable tunes. Cindy says, "Generally speaking, I'm pretty happy if at least half of the tunes are danceable. I'm ecstatic if over 75% of the CD is danceable, and I'm disappointed if there are only a few tunes I can use."

Of the 13 songs on Concert in the Park,

One is a waltz,
one is a cha-cha,
two are slow ballads,
one is a combination of ballad and Latin styles,
one starts with a rubato introduction, then turns into a medium tempo swing tune, and
seven are danceable swing tunes from start to finish.

The recording would need 10 danceable swing tunes to fit into the "ecstatic" category, but it's definitely got enough to make the "pretty happy" grade.

Our conclusion*: If you're a swing dancer, you'd be pretty happy to own the Concert in the Park CD or cassette tape, and the variety of other music on the recording can entertain you when you just feel like listening or dancing to different musical styles.


*Actually this is Glen Newton's conclusion, but he's sure that somewhere there's somebody else who agrees with him, justifying the use of the word "our".