Osmond Terrace Function Centre, Sun Mar 1.
Imagine finding yourself in an understated and elegant venue on a balmy Sunday night listening to the gorgeous grooves and brilliant brass of a world class 17-piece Big Band, through an excellent and well-engineered sound system, playing arrangements from all-time greats like Count Basie, Ray Charles, Harry Connick Jnr and Adelaide’s own Mike Stewart Big band. Heaven? The only thing missing was a dance floor (and the sadly missed Mike Stewart, who died suddenly last year). This music fills the body with joy, and the masterful musicians pumped it out with precision, warmth and glorious expertise.
The wonderful legacy that is the Mike Stewart Big Band is led by the generous and friendly Tom Pulford, (saxophone) who hosts throughout and gives us interesting info on the fantastic pieces the band plays. Every member deserves mention (alas, not enough review space) and the lead solos were all applaudable. Standouts include Warren Heading on trumpet, Chris Soole on sax, Matt Sheens on keyboards and Alex Taylor on trombone. Vocalist Luke Thompson added silky smooth and bright presence to the band and they even did an unlikely version of Ian Moss’ Tucker’s Daughter. Who would have thought it could work so well?
Underpinned by the delicious rhythms of Angus Mason on drums and Alana Dawes on upright bass, this band is a must-see for anyone who loves classy, rich and memorable music. The great swing/jazz/blues era that was the golden age of big bands still lives right here in Adelaide through these terrific musos. There is only one more show on Thursday so get your dose of musical medicine while you can. There is no way anyone could have the Blues listening to this Big Band!
Big Band Blues continues at Osmond Terrace Function Centre until Tue Mar 5.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 261 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.