Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Andy and Jo Show

I made an all too infrequent trip to the cosy and lightly regal Cinnamon Club lounge bar on Friday 24th October for a second hearing of the Andy Schofield Jo McCallum Jazz Orchestra. The evening gently geared up courtesy of the Jamie Safirrudin Quartet. Their set consisted of bunch of well trodden standards delivered with a youthful vigour often missing from renditions by more seasoned players. An assured 'Canteloupe Island' hit the spot pretty sweetly, and a cruising version of 'Maiden Voyage' maintained it's forward momentum, ably assisted by some fullsome improvising from Jamie on the keys.

The Andy and Jo Jazz Orchestra immediately kicked with a distinctly stronger performance than the previous one at this same venue. There was some powerful and tightly meshed horn line playing on a great version of brother Stuart McCallum's 'Austin Flowers'. The arrangements in general really captured an authentic vintage big band sound as well as any I've personally heard. There was an abundance of cool muted trumpet lines evoking a real forties feel, with the Cinnamon lounge enhancing the ambience.

The band didn't wallow in its nostagic moments though, and confidently sailed us through a fifties'ish 'Round Midnight' with some classic Cizerace Chisnall improv on the piano. Onwards then into the seventies for a Starsky and Hutch like '6.49am'. The impertinent bass honks emanating from the horns of Suzanne Higgins and Sam Andreae were most welcome. Richard Iles' 'Silence Again' sent us home with a suitably local hug.

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