“Society Bands” were local and regional big bands that played swing dance music for weddings, “Sweet Sixteen” events, New Year’s Eve parties, and elegant dinner parties. Many times, these bands would play a “vamp” (a repeated chord progression) between pieces or as a way to prepare musicians for solos. One of the vamps that is featured in Sway ‘n’ Swing runs through much of the circle of fifths, making it a great teaching tool. The AABA form was very common during the era of the Great American Songbook. It’s a fun piece that sounds thoroughly professional with its walking bass pattern, and is gig-tested.
Key: Eb Major
Mood: swinging, happy,
Pedagogy: circle of fifths, “vamp” chord progressions, walking bass, dynamics.