GO! JAZZ : O'Higgins goes down a storm.
Dave O'Higgins Biggish Band, Big Shake Up, Candid Records "Bit City" BCCD 79208
THE devil, as they say about international agreements, is in the detail.
If that is true about the music on this CD then the devil is a most gifted and original musician. Every instrument has something important to do throughout this highly complex music.
Not for Dave O'Higgins the easier route of ensemble, solos and back to the ensemble. He spent three fruitful months composing and arranging this music for a 10-piece band which was to contain his favourite players and nobody has time to doze off waiting for his turn to come in.
Big Shake Up involves Winston Clifford and Pete Eckford in their percussive roles and features O'Higgins playing some muscular tenor.
Old Self has a prominent flute part for Alex Garnett and there are some beautiful sounds and gorgeous harmonies as the piece develops, with Dave on soprano.
When the leader is not playing he is teaching, either at London's Guildhall or in South Africa, and it would be surprising if a few African rhythms had not crept into his compositions.
At Long Last is a case in point and has Martin Shaw producing the purest sound on flugelhorn.
Are you Mad...? is a shortened version of the much longer title and the humour is apparent throughout the music, culminating in a spirited exchange of four-bar sections on the closing choruses by O'Higgins and Alex Garnett.
The calm before the storm is Round and Round In Circles. An introspective piano introduction is followed by Martin Shaw's flugelhorn and some rich, very satisfying harmonies as the ensemble fills out.
Then comes the storm, which we are warned about as being a "smallish band behaving badly".
Splatter Matter has all the right ingredients - guitar played in a neo- rock style, tenor screaming and wailing over the top, yet never does the music lose its poise.
This CD is good news in itself but even greater news is that the band will be at Warwick Arts Centre, on Saturday, October 6.
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Sep 14, 2001|
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