Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bennetts Lane Big Band

Chapel Off Chapel - the venue with temperature problems last year seems fine tonight.

After announcing the Bennetts Lane Big Band, they actually walked in! I'm getting the knack of this.

Andrea Keller on the piano; Eugene Ball and Damian Maughan on trumpets; Shannon Barnett (trombone), Adrian Sherriff (bass trombone); Ian Whitehurst, Phil Noye and Tim Wilson on saxophones, Nick Haywood on bass and Rajiv Jaraweera on the drums.

The first set plays compositions by Andrea. Starting with 'For Bernie' - a tune I've heard a few times... I began to remember what I enjoy so much about Andrea's writing... a feeling that crystallised throughout this first set.

On to the notes: 'Galumphing around the world' sounded to me like a road trip, though I wondered whether I thought that because of the title. It struck me at some point that the conversation between the tenor sax (Ian Whitehurst) and the piano was like a couple's conversation on a Sunday drive including a little tension and a couple of outbursts! Some building excitement with the drums and bass. Definitely a journey.

'Singing in a sinking ship', was back-announced and after the introduction by Andrea and Nick I heard an existential longing in this that spoke to the title. I thought perhaps it is just that Andrea has that rare knack of giving a name to a piece that matches what it sounds like! Adrian's bass trombone was striking; vibrating under the song... And Nick's solo...

Another highlight was 'The Rain Outside' with Raj and Andrea giving us the effect of drops on the roof... and then the soft fluid sounds of Eugene Ball and Raj again. Beautiful stuff.

And 'Lines on My Face' was so happy I felt quite good about the lines on my own!

A little set break. A littl wine... and back in a little bit for Gian Slater... with the Bennetts Lane Big Band once again.

Thanks once again to Roger Mitchell for the fabbo pics.

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