The wit and sense of fun in Andrew Dickeson’s arrangements across the album is a joy.
In his writing, Lohning allows plenty of room for the soloists to have their say with their own voice and – often playing understated piano – would at times rise from his place at the keys and direct the band with enthusiasm. His arrangements had the audiences tapping their feet and applauding. A general feeling of happiness and well-being filling the room, particularly after Lohning’s composition in the style of Count Basie, ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’, which concluded the first set.
One of McGann’s great virtues is his ability to project feeling and indeed raw powerful emotion – and to stimulate the visual imagination – whether he is playing simple or complex lines.
Something about this video made me want to keep listening and listening. I love the way Brendan and Andrew interact. And there’s been a bit of 75th Birthday action for Bernie McGann this year; a lot of talk about his unique sound. Here’s a taste.
Standing before the microphone like a granite monolith, McGann made the alto saxophone look small in his hands – but the sound was big, breathy and unique | Butler’s piano solo was perfectly judged, his angular playing style finding its home in the momentum of the music.