This album is full of songs with sick riffs. They're either played by the entire band or in the background while the soloist is going to town or the soloist themselves creates a sick riff that they play with. I'm a sucker for sick riffs.
It's long-awaited album by probably the king of modern swing music - Jonathan Stout band, full of SPARKLING swinging rhythm, already beloved by swing dancers around the world! <3
Favorite track: Honeysuckle Rose ("à la Basie").
“My entire artistic life has been a chase to be the ‘real thing.’”
I spoke with Jonathan Stout for more than two hours on my podcast, but really, that single sentence pretty much sums him up.
You see, Jonathan is a perfectionist. Perhaps to a fault. He is compelled to be capital-A Authentic in everything he does. Of course, this has worked out quite nicely for the thousands of swing dancers Jonathan, Hilary and the Campus Five have played for over the years. Around the world, we have swung out to Authentic swing music wherever they have performed.
Sometimes, however, perfectionism gets in the way. It’s been 10 years since the last Campus Five album. Ten years since dancers have gotten to take home a fresh collection of Authentic swing tunes. All because recording session after recording session didn’t meet the high standards of a particular bandleader.
Other times, perfectionism pays off. This album is culled from three different recording sessions, each producing a number of choice tracks. These are the highlights. Usually folks are lucky to get one or two standouts on an album, but each track on “Spreadin’ Rhythm Around” is a gem.
On the founding of the Campus Five, Jonathan said of Hilary and himself, “We’re dancers first. We’re not jazz preservationists.” Luckily for us, that’s never been more apparent. All of the musicians on this record are Authentic, but none are mere facsimile. Of course the influences are there – echoes of Charlie Christian, Illinois Jacquet, and Gene Krupa are all over this record – but they manage to be loyal to the Swing Era while making the sound completely their own and the music as modern as it’s ever been.
What you hold in your hands is the best of the best, from the best of the best. Enjoy the “real thing.”
- Ryan Swift, Swing DJ & host of The Track Podcast
Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, featuring Hilary Alexander is the nation’s premier swing dance band. Showcasing the small-group sound of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, the Campus Five is the most danceable swing band anywhere. The 7-piece Campus Five captures the true sound of the Swing-era, with all the energy and excitement that inspired millions to dance. Influences include the Benny Goodman Sextet, Artie Shaw's Grammercy Five, Count Basie's Kansas City Six, and the Harlem-based small groups of Illinois Jacquet, Cootie Williams, Coleman Hawkins, and Hot Lips Page.
Both founders (Hilary and Jonathan) have been dedicated Swing dancers for over 20 years, and the relationship between Swing music and Swing dance informs all aspects of the Campus Five. Song selection, tempo, song length and feel are all chosen with danceability in mind. The Campus Five’s albums are favorites of Swing DJs and Swing Dance Instructors all over the globe. The Campus Five have been featured at many of the premier Swing dance events around the world, and are known for their unparalleled competition music, which inspires dancers to new heights.
The Campus Five has been featured on ABC's "The Bachelorette" (2016), and on Warner Brothers TV's "Ellen" (2004).
Here’s a partial list of the swing dance events the Campus Five have been featured at around the world:
Frankie 95 (NYC)
Camp Hollywood / National Jitterbug Championship (Los Angeles)
International Lindy Hop Championships (Washington, DC)
Lindy Focus (Asheville, NC)
Lindy Blossom Weekend (Seoul, S. Korea)
London Balboa Festival (London, UK)
Great Southwest Lindyfest (Houston)
Camp Jitterbug (Seattle)
Inspiration Weekend (Orange, CA)
All Balboa Weekend (Cleveland)
Beantown Swing Camp (Boston)
DCLX (Washington, DC)
Stompology (Rochester, NY)
Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout (Denver)
released June 20, 2017
Jonathan Stout, guitar
Hilary Alexander, vocals
Albert Alva, tenor sax and clarinet
Jim Ziegler, trumpet and vocals
Christopher Dawson, piano
Wally Hersom, bass
Josh Collazo, drums
Bryan Shaw, trumpet on "Tunis In", "You've Got Me Voodoo'd", and "Dance of the Lindy Blossoms"
Marquis Howell II, bass on "Tunis In", and "You've Got Me Voodoo'd"
Tracks 1, 5, 8-9, and 12-15 recorded and mixed by Wally Hersom at Wallyphonic, Pasadena, CA
Tracks 2-4, 6-7, and 10-11 recorded and mixed by Bryan Shaw at Digital Brothers, Costa Mesa, CA
Final mastering by Bryan Shaw
Produced by Jonathan Stout and Hilary Alexander
Production Assistance by Jason Swihart
Album Design: Chris Wilkinson
Jonathan Stout and his Campus FiveLos Angeles, California
Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, featuring Hilary Alexander is the nation’s premier swing dance band. Showcasing the
small-group sound of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, the Campus Five is the most danceable swing band anywhere. The 7-piece Campus Five captures the true sound of the Swing-era, with all the energy and excitement that inspired millions to dance....more