Alan Barnes + 11
Fri 26 02 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Alan Barnes + 11
At Crookes Social Club, 8-11pm
Alan Barnes alto/baritone sax; clarinet/bass clarinet:
Trumpets: Pat White, James Copus
Trombones: Mark Nightingale, Gordon Campbell
Howard McGill: alto/woodwinds
Robert Fowler: tenor/woodwinds
Andy Panayi: tenor/woodwinds
Mick Foster: baritone/woodwinds
Robin Aspland: piano
Sam Burgess: bass
Matt Skelton: drums
Alan Barnes’ celebration of his 60thbirthday with a collection of tunes from his birth year in large-group format with new arrangements by trombonist Mark Nightingale. Even though it was set in an exceptionally fertile decade, 1959 still stands out as a remarkably fruitful year for jazz albums. ‘Kind of Blue’, ‘Giant Steps’, ‘Mingus Ah Um’, ‘Thelonious Monk at Town Hall’ and Dave Brubeck’s ‘Time Out’ are all iconic recordings from that year. Expect joyous playing, outstanding virtuosity, variety and Alan’s inimitable sense of humour. This gig has been made possible by generous financial support from a member of our audience.
Alan Barnes reached the age of 60 in 2019. Art Pepper recorded a classic in 1959 called Art Pepper +11 with arrangements by Marty Paice and featuring Art Pepper as the main soloist throughout. With this in mind, Alan commissioned Mark Nightingale to write 13 charts for 12 piece big band of tunes written in 1959. The album of the project on Woodville Records WVCD151 has received 4 and 5 star reviews. These arrangements are pure fire, and need to be heard to be believed. Alan himself features on alto and baritone saxes, clarinet and bass clarinet.
The tunes include ‘Boogie Stop Shuffle’ (Mingus), ‘Naima’ (Coltrane), ‘Blowin’ the Blues Away’ (Silver), ‘Dreamsville’ (Mancini), ‘As Catch Can’ (Mulligan), ‘Little Rootie Tootie’ (Monk), ‘Single Petal of a Rose’ (Ellington) and ‘A Felicidade’ (Jobim).
“To celebrate my 60th birthday, I wanted to record an album with a similar concept and to ask one of my favourite musicians, trombonist Mark Nightingale, to take on the arranging duties. We decided on a slightly different instrumentation, that all the musicians would be featured as soloists at some point, and that we would choose themes from my birth year -again 1959. I wanted to solo mainly on alto but to also spotlight my ‘doubles’ of clarinet, bass clarinet and baritone on some tracks as Art Pepper had done 60 years earlier on tenor and clarinet. Mark responded immediately, enthusiastically and brilliantly, and within a few weeks I had a collection of wonderful charts all of which displayed his astoundingly fecund imagination in re-thinking completely new takes on these ageless tunes.” …Alan Barnes
“Alan Barnes has had a long, hard-working and successful career as one of the structural supports of the British jazz scene. The youngish whippersnapper in his early 30s I recently reviewed .. happily shows no signs of slowing down. He has elected to celebrate this particular milestone by pinching an idea from Art Pepper, whose big-band album + Eleven focused the American’s reed playing onto some classic post-war tunes with snappy arrangements from Marty Paich…The 11 tracks chosen here show great variety, from the pounding rhythms of Charles Mingus’ ‘Boogie Stop Shuffle’ and Thelonious Monk’s ‘Little Rootie Tootie’ (with space for a super tenor saxophone solo from Andy Panayi) to the swinging Jobim bossa ‘A Felicidade’ with catchy counterpoint arranging) and late night New York vibe of Randy Weston’s ‘Hi-Fly’ (with suitably flowing Mark Nightingale trombone solo and nods in the arrangement to Ellington’s ‘I’m Beginning To See The Light’.’ Take Five’ is given an outing too, with a delicate arrangement that makes us surprised that it’s not Paul Desmond who starts the alto solo.
Barnes takes a solo on each track – it’s his party and he’ll play if he wants to. There are ballads too – the gorgeous arrangement of John Coltrane’s Naima stands out, with a well-constructed trumpet solo from James Copus alongside Barnes’ alto and plenty of interest in the ensemble sections. Every member of the group is featured at some point, with extended versions of Gerry Mulligan’s ‘As Catch Can’ and Horace Silver’s ‘Blowing The Blues Away’ offering welcome blowing space with bouncing sparkly backing.
This is a really superb album, rethinking classic tunes, great new arrangements, top-class soloing. And holding it all together is Alan Barnes – many happy returns, vamps, riffs and gigs!”… Mark McKergow, London Jazz News
“It was only after thinking back to all the albums he’s made, awards he’s won and gigs he’s enlivened, that I concluded it must be true: Alan Barnes, the earthly Peter Pan of British jazz, reaches his 60th birthday this month. The great thing about him is that he just loves jazz, all of it, and the evident pleasure it gives him to play it is catching. This is his birthday album, and all 11 members of his handpicked band, he says, are of like mind and “definitely not of the gloom school”.
They’re also among the most admired players around today, most of them younger than the birthday boy himself. The tunes are from the year of his birth, 1959, an annus mirabilis, with more future jazz classics released than ever before or since. So we have pieces by Monk, Coltrane, Mulligan, Mingus and Jobim, all reimagined and arranged by Mark Nightingale.
Everyone has a solo moment, and Barnes features brilliantly on everything. He plays alto and baritone saxophones, clarinet and, on Ellington’s ‘The Single Petal of a Rose’, bass clarinet. That’s my favourite track, but they’re all quite superb.”…Dave Gelly, The Guardian
Full – £16
Over 60s, disabled, unemployed – £14
Student with NUS card – £9
15 – 17 year olds – £4
Under 15s – Free
ADVANCE BOOKINGS ONLY
Advance tickets available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/sheffield-jazz