Last night was a fantastic way to kick off the hot summer at the Pearl Co located on Steven Street. The Jazz Connection Big Band closed out their 13th season with a blistering set of infectious toe-tapping music. The 17 piece jazz band based out of Hamilton is truly one of the best kept secrets in our city. Drummer Steve Wilsonpowered this group through standards such as ‘The Count Is In’ and ‘Take the A Train’.
The arrangements, however, are not the traditional 1940s but rather are a revved up version that still manages to stylistically keep the essence of Basie and Ellington but with the ferocity of a race horse. “A Few Good Men” was a jaw-dropping number that showcased the incredible percussion talents of Dave Wilson along with a complimentary guitar solo that was nothing short of amazing. The musical shenanigans and constant soloing of the saxophone section is not only stylistically appealing but invites the audience to appreciate the virtuosity, and talented showmanship of these wonderful musicians. I invite anyone who appreciates live music to attend a performance of this ensemble. Set list favourites include; Beulah the Witch, Buy It/Fry It, Fried Buzzard, and a beautiful closing piece entitled Dear Old Stockholm. Gary Santucci & wife Barb has offered these musicians a wonderfully intimate venue to perform their music and Hamiltonians need to get up and get out & see not only The Jazz Connection Big Band. But the many other live performers who are on stage most evenings at this popular venue. (thepearlcompany.ca)
For more information about this particular group, please visit www.jazzconnection.ca