Born and bred in New Orleans, Sabertooth Swing carries a rich musical tradition of swing jazz with old roots and exciting new ramifications. Tracing its origins within the local swing dance community, their music embraces a foot-taping energy supported by serious musicianship and varied influences. Sabertooth Swing excels at bringing a fun experience and enhancing it with musical overtones that enrich their sound with beautiful jazz idioms that can be either be a source of exciting dancing or serious listening.
Sabertooth Swing follows the footpath left by the originators of jazz such as Buddy Bolden who, in his most famous piece, was asking to “open up the windows and let the foul air out”, presumably coming from late nights of dancing in small hot New Orleans summer rooms.
“How does music carry memory? How does New Orleans music carry memory differently? Is there meaning in historical violence? What is the meaning of Louisiana’s historical violence?”
These are the questions being asked on the Delta Bound album, an ambitious album that brings together the work of poets, activists, and historical figures to become a meditation on the violent history and complex culture out of which jazz first emerged. Featured guests include Sister Helen Prejean, Bruce ‘Sunpie’ Barnes, Jeffery Broussard, Cedric Watson, Paul Chéenne, The Daiquiri Queens, Zachary Richard, Kid Chocolate, Daiquiri René Jones, and Big Queen Mary Kay of the Original Wild Tchoupitoulas, who contribute thoughtful spoken word essays, readings of works by Sidney Bechet and Frank Stanford and excerpts from Spanish soldier Luis Hernandez de Biedma’s first-person account of the 16th Century De Soto expedition, and who perform songs whose lyrics address the history of violence in Louisiana- and by extension, all of American society.
Songs of Future Past is Sabertooth's most recent EP. The album started after a show a couple of years back, playing for dancers in a juke joint in New Orleans. This was a night of late, sweaty blues dancing. The band had paired up with a local blues band and, for this occasion, had prepared a list of tunes with a slower tempo, more appropriate for the type of dancers the event was catering to. These tunes had a decidedly more “blue” characteristic, with a traveling mood and melancholic feelings.
After this event, the idea of recording an album of songs in this vein grew up. Additionally, the band wanted to explore a couple more of their favorite themes, story telling and revisiting new songs with an old touch.
Eventually, the COVID pandemic gave the album its final touch. Its title evoking time-travel gone wrong, when you end up in a universe that is neither the past nor the future, or the present, and where everything is different but familiar. Eerie and attractive at the same time…