(Lord Rookwood, Cann Hall Road, E11, February 23rd 2010,review by David Nathan)
A capacity crowd had gathered last night at the Lord Rookwood, for the fifth annual appearance by the John Altman Big Band.
This was a really stellar aggregation. For two hours the band played a mixture of John’s own fine compositions, and his arrangements of such classic jazz numbers as “Scrapple from the Apple,” “Manteca,” “Joy Spring” and standards like “Our love is here to stay, “ “Easy living,” “Happy feet,” and “I wish I knew” ( a great seldom heard tune from the pen of Harry Warren).
Virtually everyone took great solos with John leading brilliantly on curved soprano sax. And how about this for a line-up:- Steve Waterman, Mike Henry, Simon Gardner ,Sid Gould (trumpets ) ; Mark Nightingale, Pete Beachill, Ashley Horton, Sarah Williams (trombones); Graham Read (tuba); Alan Barnes, Bob Sydor, Roy Willox, Martin Williams, Jay Craig (saxes); Ian Thomas (drums); Paul Morgan (bass); Barry Green (piano) and Mitch Dalton ( guitar).
John mentioned that his big band was formed 25 years ago and joked that this was his 25th gig!! This is not that far from the truth. His day job- a mightily impressive career in movies and TV work for which he has won both an Emmy (photo above) and a BAFTA award- has had first call on much of his time. More details and sound clups HERE
Details of the Lord Rookwood’s terrific gigs every Tuesday night are at http://eastsidejazzclub.blogspot.com/