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Beats and Pieces Big Band: Ten

Read "Ten" reviewed by Ian Patterson

You'd be hard pressed to find a similarly sized big-band with the energy and spark exhibited by Manchester outfit Beats and Pieces Big Band. The fourteen-piece ensemble began life in the Royal Northern College of Music in 2008, when Ben Cottrell gathered thirteen of his fellow musicians to give life to his compositions. Ten years on, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Anton Hunter: Article XI

Read "Article XI" reviewed by Ian Patterson

If Frank Zappa had been co-musical director of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra then the results might have sounded something like Article XI. Think Carla Bley's charts, Haden's missionary passion and Zappa's sudden shifts in direction and you may begin to get an idea of the terrain Anton Hunter's eleven-piece band explore on this live performance--the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Fairhall: Friendly Ghosts

Read "Friendly Ghosts" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Following undergraduate studies, virtuoso pianist Adam Fairhall took a Master's degree at Leeds College of Music, receiving a MMus in Jazz Studies (Performance) in 2005. Whilst at Leeds he studied with pianist Mark Donlon and took lessons with British jazz composer Matthew Bourne. The title of his album Friendly Ghosts, Fairhall's debut recording as a soloist, ...

Beats and Pieces Big Band: All In

Read "Beats and Pieces Big Band: All In" reviewed by Phil Barnes

The idea of the gang is well established in rock bands--think of the wonderful Astrid Kirchherr photos of the Beatles in their Hamburg-era leathers, the Specials glowering from the cover of their classic debut LP or the Clash in pretty much any picture ever taken of them. Rock bands often foster this “us v's them" mentality ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Beats & Pieces Big Band: All In

Read "All In" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

While almost every sensible thought screams “Don't Do It!" for good economic and logistical reasons, there are still plenty of jazz musicians for whom the big band is an ideal--and an attainable one at that. Manchester's Beats & Pieces Big Band is a fine example--the name may or may not be a nod to Manchester's '60s ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Quadraceratops: Quadraceratops

Read "Quadraceratops" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

It's a question that's puzzled and divided jazz fans and critics alike, since before Louis Armstrong left New Orleans. There's been no sign of resolution and the dissent continues as the jazz world wrestles with this thorniest of debates. Just what is the best-est dinosaur ever? The music on this self-titled debut provides the answer--it's the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Let Spin: Let Spin

Read "Let Spin" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This eponymously titled album emanates from a new and exciting British band, which although the brainchild of its guitarist Moss Freed, is not actually his band as such, in that there is no formal leader and each of the quartet share equal composing duties. Freed has already made two fine albums under his own name (under ...

Beats And Pieces Big Band: Big Ideas

Read "Big Ideas" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Beats And Pieces Big Band: a great name, for this is a band that knows how to emphasize the beat. Big Ideas, the debut album from this Manchester-based ensemble (a four-track EP was released in 2009 but is now deleted), is filled with danceable grooves and rhythms, mixed in with some more reflective melodies to create ...


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