Listen to The Frankie Sixes’ celebration of Malaysian swing jazz

Local swing jazz band The Frankie Sixes has launched their debut extended play (EP) last month, featuring first single titled 'Tepuk Amai-Amai'.

The birth of The Frankie Sixes was partly inspired by established independent singer-songwriter, vocalist and band leader Reza Salleh’s interest in the swing dance scene in Kuala Lumpur, where a community of Lindy Hop dancers would meet every Friday. The weekly social dancing typically held at a dance studio, is accompanied by a swing Jazz music playlist that runs throughout the night.

As a member of the community, Reza explained that the band’s name referred to a dance move invented by Frankie Manning, one of the founding fathers of the Lindy Hop in the 1930s in the United States of America. Following the band’s debut in 2017, The Frankie Sixes have played live specifically for the swing dance community on multiple occasions, adding further to the dancers’ overall experience.

Having launched their debut extended play (EP) featuring original swing jazz tunes via a four-day event (May 18to 21, 2023) at Damansara Performing Arts Centre, the band has also released Tepuk Amai-Amai, the first single from their self-titled EP. The song is accompanied by a collaborative music video featuring Lindy Hop swing dancers located in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Finland and the UK.

Reza Salleh

Co-written with bandmate and pianist Hin Ee Jeng, the EP also features Che Wan on double bass, KJ on drums and Eddy Lim on saxophone and Isaac Marvin on trumpet, recorded and engineered by Rozhan Razman from R.M.P Studios.

“We are proud to contribute five original swing jazz tunes to the Malaysian songbook and hope they can be accepted eventually as standards not just here but in the region and beyond. As an artform rooted in expression, we found it a no-brainer to use swing jazz as a vehicle to introduce a bit of Malaysian storytelling to listeners all over the world, especially since our own music industry was heavily influenced by music of that era via local music luminaries such as P. Ramlee and Jimmy Boyle,” explains Reza.

“We had a lot fun figuring out what to shoot as a community for this video. I asked Reza to share the meaning of the lyrics with us and since a lot of it was about nostalgia, we thought why not shoot at locations such as local parks and public housing areas, elements common to us growing up in Hong Kong,” shared Claris Yip, one of the scene leaders for Swing Pocket, a Lindy Hop community based in Hong Kong.

The music video produced by Reza features 105 dancers of Lindy Hop, a form of swing dance originating from the US in the 1930s and 40s, all shot by the dancers themselves and edited by Singaporean Lindy Hop dancer Andrew Lin.

The band performing at Bobo KL

Listen to The Frankie Sixes on all major streaming platforms now via this link. While you’re at it, why not check the band out on YouTube?

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