How Good is Concert in the Park (+8) for Swing Dancing?

Let's evaluate the Roseville Big Band's Concert in the Park (+8) 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.

Concert in the Park (+8) consists of the same 13 songs that are on the original Concert in the Park CD, plus eight bonus tracks.

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

Concert in the Park (+8) has 21 songs and the CD sells for around $15, making it about 71¢ per tune. That's more than 25% under the standard reasonable pricing. Very reasonable.

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 21 songs on Concert in the Park (+8),

One is a waltz,
one is a samba,
two are cha-chas,
three are slow ballads,
one is a combination of ballad and Latin styles,
two start with rubato introductions, then turn into medium tempo swing tunes, and
eleven are danceable swing tunes from start to finish.

The CD would need 16 danceable swing tunes to fit into the "ecstatic" category, but it's definitely got more than enough danceable swing tunes 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 (+8) CD, 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, just like it was with his evaluation of the original Concert in the Park CD and cassette, but he's sure that somewhere there's somebody else who agrees with him, justifying the use of the word "our".