Cadogan Hall (above) does big bands well. There were very few seats left in the hall tonight. The audience was appreciative. The sound and the lighting were done very well and unobtrusively. Pete Cater offered heartfelt and well-deserved thanks at the end of tonight’s gig for the hard work done by Adam McGillvray and his team at the hall.
Cater had a assembled a great, hand-picked band with two Buddy Rich alumni in his saxophone section- Jay Craig, featured on “OK with Jay” and Bob Martin featured on “Chelsea Bridge”. Other highlights were Andy Greenwood’s blistering high trumpet work in “Chicago.” There were some storming full-on charts such a “Machine” the second half opener, and Bob Mintzer’s Funk City Ola.
The 8pm start meant that it was 10.30 before the inevitable long drum solo came along, with all the horn sections ritually turning their heads to watch Cater work through his lengthy routine on “West Side Story.” By that late hour the audience had run out of some of the energy to clap and cheer which had greeted the band earlier.
Cater master-minded and powered the band, impressively without a single reference to music or script. His announcements were slightly sporadic and impressionistic. But that didn’t detract from the pleasure of hearing a great band, which re-created the power and drive of the best Buddy Rich units of the past with infectious bravado and professional energy.