THE LITTLE JAZZ ORCHESTRA PLAYS THE BLUES at the Heid Out in Cranbrook, Thursday July 3, 2014, 6pm.
Classical music may be the composer’s art, but not entirely. Jazz may be the performer’s art, but, again, not entirely. I suppose it is just a question of degree. The rules are a little more rigid for the classical performer and in Jazz the performer can take a few more liberties at the composer’s expense. And, once again at their regular first Thursday of month gig, The Little Jazz Orchestra (LJO) goes about taking lots of liberties. This time it was with the blues. The bands regular musicians, Dave Ward (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Graham Knipfel (drums), Janice Nicli (this time on electric bass) and Jim Cameron (this time on Fender electric telecaster) “amped” up the music for their special ramble through the blues repertoire. The night got off to a bit of a rough start with some electronic malfunctioning with Janice’s electric bass and as a result the Miles Davis 6/8 classic All Blues didn’t quite make it out of the gate. It was an unfortunate hiccup but the only one of the evening. With a different bass in hand Janice was back on deck for The St Louis Blues and a full blues drenched evening. As with previous themed nights the band enlisted the help of their jazzy friends. It was case of “double trouble” with Graham Barnes on electric guitar, joining Jim Cameron for the classic Kenny Burrell tune Chitlins Con Carne. It is not often we see two jazz guitars in a band line-up.There was also “double trouble” from the Knipfel clan when “Big Daddy” Murray Knipfel joined the band on stage for an opening salvo of vocals. Later in the evening Murray switched to tenor sax. Murray was not the only vocalist of the evening . Jim Cameron stepped up to the plate with Kansas City and Janice Nicli did her Jump Jive party piece. I think everybody was in the mix on Flip,Flop and Fly with some nice Telecaster slide from Jim Cameron. In an appropriate nod to the cast and crew of Calender Girls in the audience the band launched into a version of The Stripper. Other tunes served up included Georgia, Saint James Infirmary, Blues in the Night and a Dave Ward original dedicated to the Heid Out’s owner, Heidi Romich, called (appropriately) Blues for Heidi. As luck would have it Laurel Ralston (trumpet) had just arrived back in the area and towards the end of the evening joined Dave and Murray on stage for a two trumpet / tenor sax line up that finally rode out the evening on Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues.
Miles Davis ALL BLUES (audio only) from the classic 1959 album KIND OF BLUE
Kenny Burrell’s CHITLINS CON CARNE this is from the classic 1963 Blue Note album Midnight Blue that featured Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax, Major Holley Jr on bass, Bill English on drums, Ray Barretto on congas and, of course Kenny Burrell on guitar. The blues don’t come much better than this.