The Birth of the Thomas Gunther Trio
In 2002 I had my first performance for swing dancers with my own band THE THOMAS GUNTHER TRIO at a club called Rumors. The band quickly became popular, especially with the more experienced dancers, swing dance instructors and those folks that knew a little bit more about jazz. We obviously didn’t have the big band sound that most people associate with swing music, but we did have one big advantage: I had become a passionate swing dancer myself and knew what swing dancers wanted to hear. There were a lot of jazz musicians that wanted a piece of the cake and quickly formed a jam band without fully understanding the needs of swing dancers. For example, some of them didn’t understand that a swing dancer doesn’t want to dance to an uptempo bebop sax solo for 20 minutes. Instead they want shorter tunes and variety in style and tempo so they can rotate partners quicker or catch their breath during a slower song. There is a lot to consider when you are playing for swing dancers, and jamming over some jazz standards just won’t cut it.