1 January 2017

Post 462: THE BEST OF 2016

James Sterling
Looking back on 2016, the most exciting performance of traditional jazz I heard in the entire year was played by the unlikely combination of string bass, banjo, and TWO C melody saxophones - just four instruments. The musicians were Tyler Thomson, John Dixon, James Evans and young Chloe Feoranzo. The tune was Bye Bye Blues.

It started pleasantly and conventionally enough. But notice what happens from 2 minutes 56 seconds in the four final choruses. First we have the two saxes 'trading eights'. Then at 3 minutes 32 seconds (how the excitement is building!) they play a chorus 'trading fours'; next at 4 minutes 08 seconds they top this with a chorus 'trading twos'. Finally at 4 minutes 45 seconds they play an ensemble out-chorus which has the whole place rocking. I still feel breathless every time I listen to this. Everybody at The Spotted Cat knew they had just witnessed something very special.

I was there - but not using my camera. Thank goodness James Sterling was on hand to video it for the rest of the world! He deserves our deepest gratitude.

Watch the video for yourself by clicking: