John Altman Big Band
at the Jazz Bakery
|Photo by Peter Erskine|
The all star John Altman Big Band played to a packed house at Ruth Price’s Jazz Bakery in Culver City, Los Angeles on Monday 23 June, 2003 as part of the twelve week big band series at the club.
Among the appreciative audience were composer Alf Clausen of Simpsons fame, and former Dizzy Gillespie star saxophonist Ralph Moore, now holding down the chair in the Tonight Show band, and appreciating his predecessor Pete Christlieb on his usual brilliant form.
For Altman’s first US gig since becoming a California resident, he brought in several new charts. A swinging arrangement of Gigi Gryce’s Minority featured tenor saxist Jeff Driskill, pianist Tom Ranier and trumpeter Warren Luening, and a chart on Lars Gullin’s haunting Late Date spotlighted Brian Scanlon on alto and fellow expat Bob Efford, magnificent as ever on baritone sax.
Happy Feet, written for Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez to make like Fred and Ginger in the new movie Shall We Dance, was beautifully swung by the whole ensemble, and Altman‘s brand new curved soprano was heard to good effect.
The rhythm section was a powerhouse and Chuck Berghofer was raving about the drumming of Bernie Dresel, surely one of the finest Big Band drummers around today. The sections were brilliantly led by Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin or Bruce Otto, and Sal Lozano, and the soloists were uniformly outstanding everyone was heard from at some stage of the evening. Altman hopes next to record an over here/over there album featuring both his UK and US band.
Click the pics to enlarge
John Altman (soprano sax/arrangements/composer) leading:
Copyright © 2003, John Altman. All Rights Reserved