Big Band of the Week – Mood Swings

It was difficult deciding whether to include Mood Swings in our series on jazz big bands.
On the one hand, their book of classic jazz big band tunes is voluminous, featuring both instrumentals and vocal features. On the other hand, the argument against inclusion is summed up in their own self-description as a “rock/pop band in a big band body.” If you check the fifty audio tracks on their web site, there’s precious little jazz, aside from perhaps the Sinatra tunes and a few standards typically played by jazz bands, such as “Georgia,” “Teach Me Tonight,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Maybe we should think of them as a potential jazz big band. If one wanted to hire a jazz big band they could fit the bill.

For 22 years Mood Swings — so named because their founders were a psychiatrist and psychologist – has been one of the busiest, perhaps the busiest big band in the Baltimore area, even when they were playing more Swing Era material. They still average two gigs per month, with a calendar that includes wineries, private parties, benefits and fundraisers.

The band’s web site is www.moodswings.com.

This article continues our series on area big bands — if you missed any of them, you can catch them here at Big Band of the Week.