125

The Dave O'Higgins Biggish Band: Big Shake Up

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins’ Biggish Band is what we used to call a tentet — but the ensemble is having so much fun playing his picturesque and always interesting charts on Big Shake Up that we won’t hold it against him. O’Higgins the composer draws on a number of influences from traditional and contemporary Jazz to funk, rock, Latin and whatever else enters his quick and resourceful mind. The music he writes is always rhythmic and consistently melodic; in other words, emphatically modern, sometimes quirky but assuredly not “free.” While each selection has something special to offer, according to one’s preference, our personal favorite is the fleet–footed “High Price,” shadowed closely by the Latin–style charmers “Old Self” and “At Long Last.” Least satisfying is the frenetic finale, “Splatter Matter,” on which keyboard specialist Jim Watson and guitarist Mike Outram produce all manner of disagreeable noises while drummer Winston Clifford and percussionist Pete Eckford hammer away on their respective kits and O’Higgins tries (with minimal success) to outshriek them on his alto sax. “Big Shake Up,” which opens the session, is a funky march that brings to mind the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Next up is “Old Self,” whose luminous flute / soprano voicing is underscored by its insistent Latin beat, followed by “At Long Last,” “Are You Mad?” and “High Price.” Completing the program is “Round and Round in Circles,” a pretty ballad embellished by Martin Shaw’s flugel, Outram’s guitar and O’Higgins’ soprano. Each of the sidemen is an enterprising soloist, and there are bracing choruses along the way by Outram and trombonist Mark Nightingale (“Shake Up”), Outram and trumpeter Martin Shaw (“At Long Last”), Watson (organ) and baritone Alex Garnett (“Are You Mad?”), Garnett, Shaw and Nightingale (“High Price”), Shaw (flugel) and Outram (“Circles”). O’Higgins adds a sturdy voice on soprano (“Old Self,” “Circles”), tenor (“Shake Up,” “At Long Last,” “Are You Mad?,” “High Price”) and alto (“Splatter Matter”). An auspicious debut by a versatile and talented young musician from whom we’ll undoubtedly be hearing much more as time goes by.

Contact:Candid Productions Ltd., 16 Castelnau, London SW13 9RU, England. Phone +44 (0) 181 741 3608; e–mail candid_records@compuserve.com; web site, www.candidrecords.com


Track Listing: Big Shake Up; Old Self; At Long Last;

Personnel: Dave O

Title: Big Shake Up | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Candid Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Aqustico vol 2" CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Molto Bene" CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor