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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Saturday, September 09, 2017

CD Review: Gareth Lockrane Big Band - Fistfight at the Barndance

(Review by Lance).
I first heard the Gareth Lockrane Big Band at the Spice of Life one heady afternoon at the 2013 London Jazz Festival. I was knocked out then and I'm knocked out now - with an album of this name, how could I not be!?
Fistfight at the Barndance: What a great title for both the album and the opening track!  Inspired by a riff his dad used to blow on harmonica Lockrane has expanded it into a number that does give image to a barn dance brawl with Dickinson, Lockrane and Stanley the ones slugging it out.

With such a stellar line-up it's impossible to single anyone out - apart from Lockrane that is. His compositions, arrangements and playing on an assortment of flutes, place him way up high in the upper echelons of British Jazz (correction, substitute 'British' with 'World').
Well, maybe I'll single out a few more!
If I didn't mention Paul Booth's tenor workout on, On the Fly I'd become personae non gratae  in the north-east jazz society, Paul being ranked alongside, Kathy Stobart, Derek Humble, the brothers Carr, Colin Oxley, Dave Cliff, Ronnie Stephenson, Chris Sharkey and a few others who have made their mark further afield (There are a few more in the pipeline!)
On the Fly features Lockrane, Fishwick (in cracking form) and Paul.
Ian Thomas whose drumming really pushes the soloists. Gardiner-Bateman, to me, a new name on alto, but not for long I guess.
Ross Stanley: Piano fine but put him behind the good old Hammond B3 (if it is such) and he becomes a man possessed!
Forever Now, a beautiful tune that is worthy of words, however, solos from Lockrane and Taimoori transcend words.
Big bands today are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Do you go for the tried and tested formula of 70 years ago or the orchestral explorations of more contemporary bands?
I love Ellington, Basie, Shaw, Goodman etc. - on record. I don't want to hear today's musicians playing the old (or even updated) charts of the classics.
Likewise, I don't want to listen to some contemporary big name bands (in small pools, I admit) who bore the backside off of you with their pretentious arrangements - the Paul Whiteman's of today.
The bands I have liked in recent years include - Rob McConnell, Cincinnati's Blue Wisp Band, Jones-Lewis, Clarke-Boland, Gordon Goodwin and - Gareth Lockrane!
Lance.
The album is launched on Monday (Sept.11) at Kings Place, London. Details. Samples etc.
Gareth Lockrane (flutes/piccolo/compositions/arrangements); Sam Mayne, James Gardiner-Bateman (alto/soprano/clarinet); Graeme Blevins (tenor on 8 tks); Paul Booth (tenor on 3 tks); Nadim Teimoori (tenor/flute); Richard Shepherd (baritone/bass clarinet); Andy Greenwood, Tom Walsh, Steve Fishwick, Henry Collins (trumpet/flugel); Mark Nightingale, Barnaby Dickinson, Trevor Mires (trombone); Barry Clements (bass trombone); Mike Outram (guitar); Ross Stanley (Hammond/piano/Rhodes); Ryan Trebilcock (bass); Ian Thomas (drums); Hugh Wilkinson (perc.); Jonny Mansfield (marimba on 1 tk.)

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