Thursday, 20 January 2011

We’re Gonna Have A House Party (Fred Wesley & The New JB’s LIVE @ The Jazz Café)

Welcome back to what has just become something of an unplanned extended weekend here!!
Good Old London Town has just been hit up with what the News Peeps are calling “The worst snow storm in 18 years” Here on the fringes of the capital it's -2°C and we’ve had 6 unexpected (or so it seems) inches of snow falling overnight, with anything upto a foot (maybe more as the weather reports seem to get worse by the hour!) being predicted by midnight tonight. As our somewhat fragile transport system has now crumbled and collapsed to nothing more than medieval styled standards at best, I find myself at home with the heating cranked up to maximum and steaming hot coffee at hand, writing an early morning post for you all.

Fortunately, the snow held off long enough over the weekend for me to head across town to North London to see the legendary Fred Wesley & The New JB’s perform the first of two nights at The Jazz Café in Camden.

Friday’s show was possibly one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. The band kicked off with a few jazzy numbers which got the crowd warmed up nicely and by the time they started dropping the funk joints everyone had turned out to hear (see?) the whole venue was at boiling point, even seeing some of the diners in the balconies abandoning their tables to get down to the groove!

The band Fred Wesley had assembled for this tour was as tight as they come, made up from long timers who had previously done stints with him. Each took a turn to step forward to showcase their individual talents, no musician stronger or weaker than the others.

The shows highlights for me were ‘Breakin’ Bread’, ‘Pass The Peas’ and the fantastic finale ‘House Party’. Sitting on the end of the piano spectating and almost scrutinising the other band members playing, Fred took on an almost James Brown-esque role as conductor, commanding an awesome stage presence with his trombone, never out shined, with the crowd cheering every single funky note he dropped – truly breathtaking stuff.

Fred Wesley - Trombone Solo - El Passo - 2008

With Fred & The New JB’s touring for the next month or so, I hugely urge you to snatch up tickets and go and see them if they’re playing in a town near you, you certainly won't be disapointed!

I’ll be back in the next day or so with Part 2 of Bold Soul Brothers guest mix (snow permitting!!), So sit tight and stay warm until then.

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