Frank Griffiths Nonet ‘Live’
Ealing Jazz Festival 2000
- Lester leaps In
- Save Your love for Me
- Here We Are
- Young and Foolish
- Funjii Mama
- The Barnes Bull
Frank Griffith – Leader, tenor Sax/Clarinet: Bob Martin – Alto: Duncan
Lamont Jnr – Baritone: Henry Lowther – Trumpet: Steve Fishwick – Trumpet:
Malcolm Smith – Trombone: Tom Cawley – Piano: Dominic Howles – Bass:
Matt Fishwick - Drums
This is the size of band that Maynard Ferguson tours with and the latter
day Mulligan Bands were of a similar size. Large enough to have exciting
arrangements and tight ensemble work, but small enough to leave the
soloists space to work. There has been a derth of this kind of band
on the UK scene and American Tenor Player Frank Griffith is to be congratulated
on this one. Bands of this size require everyone to be ‘onside’ there
is absolutely no room for passengers or misfits. It says much for Frank’s
skill as an arranger that the band has an identity and on this evening
everyone was on top form. Bob Martin is an outstanding alto player,
no doubt a few years with that exacting task-master Buddy Rich will
have seen to that! Frank himself had a similar pedigree with the Thad
Jones/Mel Lewis Band in New York.
Lester Leaps In features both Bob Martin and Frank Griffiths and is
an outstanding track, an exciting Griffiths chart and some top class
soloing. Save Your Love features Henry Lowther who never disappoints
on Trumpet, the arrangement this time by the late Jimmy Deuchar. Young
and Foolish brings the amazing Bob Martin back to the solo spotlight
and as usual he is in dazzling form.
The rhythm section is superb throughout and must be singled out for
a mention, they are just perfect.
It was nice to hear Funjii Mama again, a Blue Mitchell theme that should
be played more often, features here for Steve Fishwick, Malcolm Smith,
Duncan Lamont Jnr. Tom Cawley and the Leader.
Update has the Leader on Clarinet on the intro. and is a chart written
by Eddie Harvey, who many will remember from his Dankworth Seven Days.
Another fine arrangement well played. The arrangement of Gone is contributed
by Ken Stone, who was the co-leader of a previous version of the band
in the US.
The Barnes Bull was the band’s encore to a very appreciative audience,
composed and arranged by Frank, it features his Clarinet playing which
is the envy of all of us who attempt to play the instrument that as
Frank says ‘can even squeak in the box’!!
This is an excellent album of a live performance by an exciting band,
my recommendation is buy it!