I went down to Jazz Pizza Express this Wednesday to watch Dubai's latest manifestation of the vintage invasion: The Swing Revue. The 5-piece swing band and the vocalist together played several hits from the Age of Swing, as well as swing-paced covers of jazz standards by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald. The band -- playing trumpet, drum, piano, double bass, and guitar -- had a great swing rhythm, and its members also did well as backup singers during the call-and-response sequences. Their rendition of the rebel anthem "Momma Don't Allow" was especially fun.
In addition, the space just off stage left was cleared for use by the Dubai-based enthusiasts of swing dancing, Lindy Hop Dubai, who drop in an hour early for dance lessons before the weekly gig. Between two and three couples would hit the floor at a time, swinging and jiving to the live music. The band would also occasionally step down and play right next to them, adding to the swing-era atmosphere of the place.
Congratulations also to the venue, Pizza Express JLT, for being declared the best-run in the Pizza Express restaurant family.