Bandleader Pete Long previews “100 Years of Big Band Jazz in 99 Minutes” at Cadogan Hall:
On Father’s Day afternoon on Sunday June 15th I’ll be presenting 100 Years of Big Band Jazz in 99 Minutes with my 17 piece band (some of whom are fathers and have reluctantly agreed to be prised from the loving bosoms of their families for most of the day – hem hem). We’re at the Cadogan Hall just off Sloane Square – a mere two minutes walk from the tube.
A year ago drummer Richard Pite’s 100 Years of Jazz in 99 minutes had sold out the Cadogan Hall but he felt that he wanted to give it a couple of years before repeating the show. Instead, we thought that a variation on the theme may do well so this time around we would keep the concept but stick with big band jazz and so recruit another twelve superb musicians to join us.
The show features the six musicians from the original 100 Years of Jazz show (Nick Dawson; piano, Dave Chamberlain; guitar, Richard Pite; drums, Enrico Tomasso; trumpet, Georgina Jackson; trumpet and vocals and me playing some clarinet and shouting at the band. The sextet will be augmented by players such as Alan Barnes and Robert Fowler (reeds) Nathan Bray and Andy Greenwood (trumpets) and vocalist Iain Mackenzie.
The show begins with some rarely heard big band jazz from World War One – that of James Reese Europe and his Hellfighters Band. Music so raucous and powerful that if it ever was heard by the enemy it would probably have had the same effect as the first tanks on the Western Front.
From here we move to the 1920’s and Paul Whiteman, to the Swing Era of the 1930’s and 40’s with, amongst others, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller. In the second half there’ll be magnificent music from Stan Kenton (Peanut Vendor) , Count Basie (Splanky), Quincy Jones (Soul Bossa Nova), Frank Sinatra (I’ve Got You Under My Skin), Buddy Rich (Birdland), Bert Kaempfert (A Swingin’ Safari) and much more including a nod to Robbie Williams (Have You Met Miss Jones?) and an extraordinary grand finale arranged by Mark Armstrong (musical director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra) of Tiger Rag which takes in every style from the last 100 years of jazz.
The show begins at 3.30 allowing you plenty of time to take dad out for Sunday lunch and rather than him following this up with the usual postprandial nap on the couch in front of the TV he can have 17 fine musicians serving up great music, superbly played. Now that’s got to be a lot better than the Antiques Roadshow.