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Friday, October 31, 2014

Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Open Rehearsal October 30.

(Review by Kath J./ Photo courtesy of Kathryn Lowden)
The night started out with a small gathering of attentive listeners to Gerry Mulligan’s Catch as Catch Can.  Next came one of the most famous songs from the Big Band era, a tune written by Louis Prima in 1935,  Sing Sing Sing, bravely executed by the SSBB so early in the evening, but the musicians were quickly warming to their task, particularly Guy on Drums!   
After you’re Gone featuring Pete Tanton on Trumpet was followed by Gordon Goodwin's Count Bubba, and then a lively version of Caravan with Steve Summers now on soprano.  Incidentally this evening he had 3 saxes and a flute… I almost expected to see his Pandeiro and Cabasa arrive too for this number… he’s partial to a bit of Latin percussion as you may see at The Globe on November 15  when he joins a few other well-known local musicians for some Jazz Latin Groove…. I digress… but then I do love a bit of Latin too.The arrival of one of the big band’s singers brought a flurry of activity to set up a mic while Steve Summers displayed his versatility picking up his flute and Kieran Parnaby showed his skill on trombone during Frankie, Johnny and the Trombone Guy.  Lindsay Hannon started off with Orange Coloured Sky (Mk 1) but unfortunately sharing the amp with other instruments didn’t work, and only those on the front row could hear her lovely rendition, having turned up a bit Lindsay went on to sing The More I See You but the mic volume still wasn’t great; Lindsay went off to get the portable PA from Michel Lamb’s car, and set that up while the band finished the first set with, Who Could Ask for Anything More.
Set two commenced with Horace Silver’s,  Song For My Father and by now the numbers in the audience had swelled so that the band were now outnumbered, and the soloists were instructed that they now had to stand up to solo, with band leader Michael Lamb showing us how it’s done.  Lindsay took another crack at Orange Coloured Sky (Mk 2) and this time everyone got to hear this smashing tune, she followed on with Nice Work If You Can Get It before the band interjected with Buddy Rich’s Big Swing Face.  Lindsay’s That Old Black Magic proved that sometimes the Band Leader just needs to get a bit right, and the band returned to bar 106 having gained permission from the audience to work out a niggle … Job done and they moved on to  another Gerry Mulligan tune, The Red Door.  Lindsay came back on to sing her beautiful version of Angel Eyes and the final number of the night saw the line-up change to 3 tenor saxes for Sax Ally, with Steve Summers, swapping to tenor to join Paul Gowland and Jamie Toms for some saxophone banter between the boys. 
Kath.
P.S. Come January and Steve Summer’s alto goes off for a service and re-pad,  so watch for the swap around between 1st Alto and 1st Tenor Saxes.. interesting times!

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