Horn Factory at Fleece Jazz January 2016 – Dave’s Notes
The Horn Factory blew us away.
I will start with a bit of an apology. I didn’t take proper notes for this gig, for two reason. I was on the sound desk, and with 9 soloists in a body of 18 musicians, I was a busy boy. For a sound guy I enjoyed it too much, and didn’t have time to make notes. So I cannot remember composers. Bob Airzee, the musical director and percussionist, gives credit to composers and arrangers always. But this band, bless them, supplies us with a gig list, which is very rare. So where to start?
The first thing one notices about a big band: entrances. These gals and guys were spot on, and seeing as some of the music was new to them, that is a real achievement. The second thing to notice was whether the band was having fun. There is this rule: the band has fun, we have fun. They had abundant fun.
The nine soloists were:
Gilly Burgoyne on alto and soprano saxes and flute,
Charlotte Beattie on baritone sax,
Jonathan Farnhill on tenor sax,
Paul Little on trombone,
Ian Buzer on trumpet,
Tamas Farkas on guitar,
Keith Monk on piano,
Bob Airzee on congas and other bits,
and Emma Barnes on bass.
The band takes risks, and is always searching for new music and vibes. We had a hip-hop based song, and a township song. All of the evening was enjoyable, but the last number was special. It was “Night Owl Suite”, a three movement peace thematically following a jazzer through his evening, night, and then his sleepy morning as the city woke. It was beautifully played. The piece was new to us, and it was it’s first public outing with the band. We wouldn’t have known if Bob had not told us. Forgive me, I don’t remember the composer.
So thanks to the Horn Factory for a great evening, with that amazing big band sound filling the Devora Suite with joy.