Friday, October 16, 2009

Gourmet Jazz

Imagine the most perfect, exquisite gourmet meal where each element is perfectly presented, each dish is mouthwatering, each morsel melts in the mouth.
(Photo by Eddy Westveer - Flickr Creative Commons)
That was the concert tonight at Humber college under the direction of renowned bassist, composer and arranger John Clayton and the Humber Faculty/Alumni Big Band.
Just watching him conduct was like "So You Think You Can Dance" as Larry Green, emcee for the evening commented. His graceful wingspan reached for invisible clouds on either side of his body, the movement of his fingers like raindrops indicating a diminuendo and then punching out the emphasis or using his digits like the barrel of a gun.
The band was obviously entertained as well and the soloists all were dishing it up - the appetizer started out the feast with Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia" - and I am a Hoagy girl. How much more satisfying can you get than Horace Silver? "The Jody Grind". ...some Monk which brought out Don Thompson on vibes. "Plunger Mute Syndrome" featured juicy work from Christian Overton and throughout tasty solos from Pat LaBarbera, John McLeod, William Carn and a new find for me baritone player Shinrantha Beddage.
John with great humour and grace provided one of the best evenings I have had in a long time. Plus, I got to see my brother Colin - whom I didn't know was rounding out the trombone section....cool. A fully satisfying repast complete with the dessert of a trio of bass players, Don, John and Neil and a trumpet solo in "Shout Me Out" by the venerated Denny Christianson - dare I say benevolent king of Humber.
A sumptuous meal at a fast food price.
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