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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CD Review: One O'Clock Lab Band - Lab 2018: The Rhythm of the Road.

The North Texas One O 'Clock Lab Band was perhaps the first American college big band to make a worldwide impact on the jazz scene. Although the University of North Texas' music department can be traced back to the 1920's, maybe even earlier, it was in 1940, at the height of the big band era, that it first came to the notice of a wider public other than friends, parents and fellow students. Just as most American Universities cossetted their track and field stars, North Texas, I guess, nurtured their instrumental students. I recall hearing the band on Willis Conover's VOA shows some years later and being knocked out thinking this was maybe Kenton or Herman.
Fast forward to today and blindfold test someone with a Kenton or a Herman record and they'd probably say, "North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band".
School, college, university bands have multiplied in numbers and ability but I doubt if any have surpassed this current intake. They know how to swing, to solo and to put the boot in.
Wow!
Tremendous solos, Nathman and Newman, who are also the two youngest members set the benchmark on the opening Hey, It's me You're Talkin' to.
They blow up a storm. Giving these two the first solos is like giving Man City a 2 goal start.

Having said that, the other soloists are far from being Huddersfield Town!* Woodbury's trombone on the title track is blistering without blasting, Kazunori Tanaka's plunger solo on Blues for Kazu is worthy of Cootie/Bubber or any of the other Ellington plumbers, dare I say it, even better?

A Flower is a Lovesome Thing, imaginatively arranged by Kyle Gordon and winsomely sung by Marion Powers. It also has some effective piano by Paul Lees.
I could wax eloquent about all the soloists but, you've probably got the message by now that this Train (track 3) don't carry no passengers least of all Powers whose voice is once again woven into the tapestry. Arranged by Moore, he also plays a very lyrical tenor solo on the tune composed by Chris Potter.

Birds of a Feather has Bellaire sizzling on soprano; Without a Doubt, a tricky arrangement but, without a doubt, Sam Cousineau on alto and Brett Lamel sail through it individually before having a four-bar joust to the death.

Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 was arranged by Woodbury but he unselfishly cues in the trombone solo for section-mate DJ Rice. Bass player Reyes is also prominent.
After the Rain, by 'Trane, arranged by Moore, features Wilkins on flute drawing a comment from MD Blaylock - "In almost 25 years in front of big bands I've never heard a flute sound as gorgeous as Brendon's". He could have said the same about Newman's flugelhorn solo.

A rhythm section that sparkles and an arranging team that provides charts that only the very best can handle make this one of the best big band albums around.
Lance.

Available from Sept. 26 via the usual suspects.
Alan Blaylock (MD); Kyle Bellaire, Sam Cousineau, Brandon Moore, Will Nathman, Brendon Wilkins (reeds); Nick Owsik, Adam Horne, Huang-Hsiang Chang, Kazunori Tanaka, Gregory Newman (trumpets); Brian Woodbury, DJ Rice, Brett Lamel, Tommy Barttels, Kenny Davis (trombones); Paul Lees (piano/keys); Daniel Pinilla (guitar); Raul Reyes (bass); John Sturino (drums); Marion Powers (voice).
*Manchester City had just beaten Huddersfield Town 6-1 at the time of writing.

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