Professors Note

About Hambo & Swing

Hambo is a folk-couple-dance from Sweden in 3/4. The 2.beat often is played a little early (Like in Wienna-Waltz). (Some Polska's is even played a little like a Jazz-waltz.)

In an interview Svend Asmussen describes "Hambo om Bakfoten" as a "misunderstood hambo" because it not has 3 beats in an bar but 5. - "A Backfoot-Hambo".

The idea for a tune in 5/4 may be inspired by Paul Desmonds "Take Five" , wellknown from the recording with Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959. Hambo om Bakfoten is first recorded in 1972 on the live-LP "Eric Ericsons Kammerkor & Svend Asmussen"

Hambo om Bakfoten is not played in swing, but the resemblance with Take Five is nevertheless striking. 3 beats of waltz followed by 2 booms. Listen to this little music-example-mp3: LINK

This picture illustrates the 3 beats in the "waltz" followed by the 2 booms. And the bass (piano) shows that the waltz is broken in 2 longer beats (polyrhythm = 2 beats over 3) . The result is 2 long and 2 short beats in the bar. Click on the Picture! 3 Bars

Slow version of both examples mp3 LINK

I had a discussion with my friends when we played my arrangement of the Hambo. "Is it or is it not played in jazz-swing?". It is not. It is played in even 8's. The next picture illustrates that the swing-feeling is produced by slightly accentuating the notes between the beats. The distance between the attacks are even. The more colour, the louder notes. - Click on the Picture!Swing

BUT !!

On the record with Eric Ericsson Svend plays swinging eights LINK

Alternative Tramp-clap sequence for the first 8 bars

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Hambo Strings
Hambo Duo
Hambo Trio