Pigfoot – the quartet of Chris Batchelor – trumpet, Liam Noble – piano, Oren Marshall – tuba and Paul Clarvis – drums started up in January 2013.They made a CD in 2014: “21st Century Acid Trad” (Village Life) recorded live at the Vortex. As the blurb has it, that album established them as “radical interpreters of classic New Orleans music.”
The first thing they ever played was 12th St Rag. However, as Chris Batchelor points out,”with Stand by your Man on the album, and Tennessee Waltz addede to the repertoire shortly after it, we had already started to get beyond New Orleans.” Now the group are overtly branching out further, with a new series of monthly gigs.
In this next phase they are taking on the challenge which Chris Batchelor expresses thus : “Our collective musical knowledge is pretty wide. So if we run with the idea that ‘this band can play anything,’ it leads to the queston :’What couldn’t we play, what wouldn’t we play?’. Let’s set about finding ways to play that suit the material.”
For the first of their new monthly residencies, Chris Batchelor has been constructing lead sheets from opera arias.”This one turned into a research project,” he says. So, on the menu are Wolfram’s aria from Wagner’s Tannhäuser “O! du mein holder Abendstern” (Song to the Evening Star). “Christmas seemed to bring out the stars” said Chris. So they also have “E lucevan le stelle” (“And the stars were shining”) the romanza from the third act of Puccini’s opera Tosca, as a double time lament.
What will future residencies consist of? The most likely candidate for January is Motown. One band member has been suggesting “Pigfoot plays… Punk.” Another idea is to take songs from a particular year. Whatever the direction, Pigfoot definitely has legs.
December 11th 2014 Pigfoot Plays… Opera
January 11th 2015
March 1st 2015
LINKS: LIVE REVIEW from 2013
CD REVIEW from 2014