In addition to skylark's Classical Orchestral concerts thread I thought I'd start a jazz gigs thread. I'm well aware I may end up being the only contributor but I've got a few gigs lined up over the next couple of weeks, so even on my own I should be able to keep the thread going!
This afternoon I saw Tom Richards' Jazz Orchestra playing at the Spice of Life in Soho. Most of the gigs I go to are bands of 4-6, this was a full big band line up (4 trumpets, 4 'bones, AATTB saxes, piano, drums, bass, guitar) plus Jim Hart on vibes and Gareth Lockrane on flute. I ended up really appreciating the changing textures and layers of sounds such a full orchestration can produce. The band were playing all original material, much of it by Tom Richards, but the last tune of the first set was an up-tempo groove written by Gareth Lockrane that the band really got into. There were some fabulous solos from Tom Richards (sop and tenor saxes), Gareth, Joe Auckland (trumpet and flugel) probably featured most but many of the other band members took a turn too. The double bass player (Tom Mason) didn't solo but held down a great bass line throughout. The band were previewing their new CD and had a special guest performing the only vocal number - Jamie Cullum. The gig was in the basement of a pub, capacity maybe 120. Jamie came up and performed this song, yet again I was impressed not only with the fact that he really can sing, but also, despite being a huge star, he managed not to take over the gig and to keep the attention well and truly were it deserved to be - on Tom and the band.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and made me re-appreciate the wealth of talent we have performing jazz in this country, these guys really were special.