Although this was billed as a Big Band Concert,
only the second half featured the 11-piece band that the Tracey
father and son combination had assembled. The first half featured
various members of the band in different settings, starting with
a Stan Tracey piano solo on Whatís New.
A trio version of It Donít Mean a Thing If It
Ainít Got that Swing followed. Jeremy Brown on bass replaced the
advertised Andrew Cleyndert. Features for Peter King, Guy Barker
and Mornington Lockett followed and then it was the turn of Jay
Craig on Baritone who played a delightful version of Sophisticated
Lady. Steve Waterman was also featured as a replacement to Martin
Shaw on trumpet. Alastair White was also featured as a replacement
for Andy Wood. Even though the audience were expecting to hear
the big band, the sheer virtuosity of the musicians featured on
the first set, held the audience who were suitably appreciative
of their efforts.
The big band performed items from the joint leaderís
Continental suite, which were the highlights of the second half.
South America, China and Africa are the first items in a suite
that has been partly commissioned by the Arts Council. The compositions
were interesting, but perhaps not memorable. The musicianship
was outstanding and it would be unfair to single any of the soloists
out for special attention, each one was superb.
A minor criticism would be that the balance on
the sound system was far from perfect and possibly more attention
to the sound checks would be beneficial in future concerts.
The Coventry Jazz Festival Committee is to be
congratulated on including this concert in their programme.