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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CD Review: Bansangu Orchestra

(Review by Lance).
Bansangu's name derives from Brazillian percussionist Airto Moreira's habit of saying "Ban san gu' when paying his musicians. Translated it means 'Band Sounds Good!'
It was back in 2014 that ace tenor player Paul Booth got together with Giorgio Serci and Kevin Robinson to formulate the idea of a traditional big band playing music from a diverse range of cultures such as African, Brazillian, Caribbean, Celtic, Cuban, Indian and Middle Eastern. This they do without losing the overall jazz feeling but, at the same time, adding a different dimension.
Over the years, Gillespie, Kenton, Don Ellis and others have explored different cultures although none have covered such a wide spectrum. There may be some obscure tribe in one of the four continents whose indigenous sounds have been overlooked but there can't have been many.
Originals by Booth, Jayasinha, Wilson, Serci Mantovani, Mires and Oli Rockberger plus Robinson's arrangement of The Doors' Light My Fire make for compelling listening and the solos by Booth, Mayne, Yarde, Quigley, Jayasinha, Fishwick, Mires, Dickinson, Wilson, Serci. Youngs, Banks, Rockberger, Mayer and Keita combine to elevate the music to a rarified level.
To sum up: Ban san gu!
Put this one on your bucket list.
Lance
Album due for release by Pathway Records (PBCD0121) on August 3. Launch at Margate Jazz Weekend on September 21.

Paul Booth (MD/tenor/soprano/etc.)*; Jason Yarde (alto/soprano); Sammy Mayne (alto/flute);  Richard Beesley (tenor/clarinet); Gemma Moore (baritone/bass clarinet). Ryan Quigley, Kevin Robinson, Andy Greenwood, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Steve Fishwick (trumpets)**; Trevor Mires***, Barnaby Dickinson, Robbie Harvey, Martin Gladdish, Richard Henry (trombones)****; Alex Wilson (piano); Giorgio Serci (guitar/oud); Davide Mantovani (elec. bass); Satin Singh, Edwin Sanz (perc.); Rod Youngs or Tristan Banks***** (drums) + Jonathan Mayer (sitar); Oli Rockberger (piano); Seckou Keita (kora).
*etc. includes: flutes/melodica/accordion/voice/perc/keys.
**Trumpets all double on flugelhorn.
***Trevor Mires supplies the pedal effects. 
****Richard Henry plays bass trombone and tuba.
*****Banks replaces Youngs on one track only.

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