Christchurch New Zealand 2006

Canterbury Foundation Brass presented “Just Jazz – reloaded” on Friday 18th August with guest soloists Brett Baker, Jennine Bailey and Barry Brinson.

This concert is the latest offering in the successful Just series which is seeing the Band develop a high profile in Christchurch. The capacity crowd was clear evidence of the growing success of not only the Band but this concert series.

The concert opened with Birdland an old jazz standard. I was immediately impressed with the innate jazz feel captured by the Band. Next was an excellent rendition of the Flugel solo Feeling Good featuring Julia Moseley. The smooth flugel sound suited the piece well.

Jennine Bailey is a name well known to Christchurch audiences and this concert was her second with the band. This time Ms Bailey performed with full band backing. The first was Orange Coloured Sky which was an excellent vehicle for such a vocal talent. The second a sultry arrangement of Moon Glow was enhanced by some clever lighting effects.

The next item was Rhapsody in Blue with Barry Brinson on the piano. This arrangement was one of Barry's own and gave new life to this old Gershwin classic. The playing from soloist and band was excellent. Clearly the performance also found favour with the audience.

Brett Baker was then up for two solos: Georgia and Smoke Gets in My Eyes.

The principal trombone of Black Dyke showed immediately why he is regarded as a world class player. Baker displayed superb control and must be congratulated for leaving his normal repertoire behind to explore the jazz idiom.

The first half concluded with Simon Kerwin's excellent arrangement of Night Train featuring the trombones of Canterbury Foundation and Brett Baker. In this piece the playing of Brett Baker and Foundations principal trombone Brian Eckersley was of the highest order.

The second half opened with Its alright with me arranged by Simon Kerwin.

The band sounded a bit uncomfortable in a few sections but the jazz breaks for cornet and trombone worked well.

Barry Brinson returned for a piano solo entitled Porgy and Bess Impressions before he was joined by the lovely Ms Bailey who sang Why don't you do right – an arrangement that also featured the band. The next song was a Brinson/Bailey collaboration called My one and only love. This song then merged into Lady is a Tramp involving the full band.

Brett Baker returned with Autumn Leaves which displayed some of the best control and high register I have ever heard on Trombone. Clearly enjoying himself Baker then concluded with Trombonology – an old Tommy Dorsey number – where the technique was breathtaking.

The concert concluded with a super arrangement of Caravan which was very well played by Canterbury Foundation. The encore, Sing,Sing Sing, was also very well received.

Overall this was an excellent concert. The guest soloists Brett Baker, Jennine Bailey and Barry Brinson were all superb.

Brinson's contribution to the concert was immense as many of the arrangements played by the band were his.

Canterbury Foundation were in very good form under the direction of Davey Boyes. Many bands struggle with Jazz type music but Foundation had exactly the right style and played with real purpose.

I hope the Canterbury Foundation concert series flourishes and I am certainly looking forward to their next offering.

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