The Huggee swing band could also be described as “the rock band among the swing bands”. Rough. Wild. Uncompromising. Founded to play at opening of the Mannheim scene pub “Hagestolz”, the band fought their way up to the Berlin Konzerthaus. Today the band is known throughout Germany and the swing scene cannot be imagined without them anymore. The band has always stood for a mix of recklessness and seriousness, tradition and modernity, MP3 and vinyl or dance shoes and sneakers. Whether traditional songs in a modern guise or the other way around, everything is possible, nothing is necessary. It just has to be fun!
After five years of instrumental swing, the HUGGEES are opening a new chapter in their band’s history with their current album “Nightmood” and are getting reinforcements on the vocals for the first time. With Franziska Schuster (Cologne), the band has found a singer who, with her outstanding vocal color and cool attitude, is a perfect match for the seven guys. The singer, originally from the Stuttgart area, brings a new energy to the band and contributes significantly to the further development of the band’s sound, which is miraculously reflected in NIGHTMOOD, the second album of the young Mannheim swing band. Fans of hot jazz right up to big band sound get their money’s worth, as the band’s special instrumentation of a four-piece brass and a three-piece rhythm section allows arranger Konrad Hinsken (piano) to combine several decades of jazz music history and styles into a very special sound – the HUGGEE SWING.
What also sets this album apart from other swing albums are the somewhat more modern-sounding arrangements and solos. “We deliberately try not to play swing music from the past one-to-one. The cats of yesteryear like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald and all the other heroes, nobody will ever get to their level in these days anyway. We always try to add our own HUGGEE touch. All band members are into modern jazz sound of today. Therefore, the album should sound like it comes from the present time. “(Joachim Harras, saxophone)
In addition to well-known jazz hits of the 20s to 40s, two Johnny Cash songs from the 60s have been put on the record. Despite their very different origins, the pieces harmonize perfectly with each other and also work without the formative sound of the guitar. Despite the profound lyrics, the music exudes a lightness that perfectly fits into the overall sound of the CD.
With the song Nightmood, the namesake of the new CD, a beautiful ballad written by Ivan Lins and David Richardson, the band also shows that they do not only fancy dance, party and fun, but are also able to breathe the necessary passion into gentle ballads. In the style of Henry Mancini, one likes to imagine an evening with a fireplace and whiskey and the loved one.
A way of life and a philosophy of life hides behind the album title “Nightmood”. The wild time from Prohibition to the invention of the tape recorder was characterized by a busy nightlife, in which there were hardly any taboos. It was the for first time people were dancing in clubs to live music. It was the birth of the first popular music: the swing! It was about making social contacts, exchanging views, dancing and openly meeting other people. This “Nightmood” not only connects the musicians to each other, because they are out late at night and are performing on the stages all over Germany, but also the listeners of this album. It provides the soundtrack to the NIGHTMOOD. Whether with or without a fireplace, alone or in company, sober or tipsy, while dancing or in the jazz club.