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Jonathan Silk Big Band  -  Tue Jul 28, 2015  |  08:00 pm
It's been quite a while since Jazz North East last programmed a big band - certainly not since the demise of the Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra - but when we heard the Jonathan Silk Big Band we knew it was time to get back in the swing.

Although maybe that's not quite the right expression. For at least the past couple of decades big jazz units have tended to fall into two camps - those that draw their inspiration from the Swing Era template, with the various sections (reeds, trumpets, trombones) riffing in unison, and those that play more with the varied orchestral textures that can be achieved through different combinations of instruments. The great thing about the Jonathan Silk band is that it straddles that divide. There's plenty of big band drive, as you might expect from an outfit led by a drummer, but Jonathan's extensive experience of writing for smaller groups is reflected in interesting juxtapositions that don't interrupt the flow of the music, but unfailingly lend it the sound of surprise. It's new, and very tasty, wine in an old and much loved bottle.

What also makes this band stand out is the quality of the musicians involved. They may not be household names (jazz musicians have to be dead before they achieve that status), but they've all been forged in the white heat of the vibrant Birmingham scene, and the band's debut CD 'Uncouth' features a constant stream of outstanding solos. So if you're in the mood for a big band (but preferably without 'In the Mood'), this is an unmissable gig.


Tickets for this gig are available from the Jazz Café (0191 222 9882), Reflex Records (0191 260 3246) or online from seetickets.com