Even playing “offstage” (in other words, in an out–of–the–way venue), as the announcer says in introducing the ensemble, performing at the 30th Montreux Jazz Festival must have been one of life’s momentous watermarks for Germany’s youthful STB Big Band, and they certainly give the concert everything they have. Like most bands I’ve heard from that country, amateur or professional, they play well as a unit, but STB has no strong solo voices, and the eight vocals — four by Pedret, three by Mayer, a duet on “All of Me” — are on the whole flat and unimpressive. “It Had to ...read more
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