Live At The Spotted Dog
Recorded over three nights in 2016, Live At The Spotted Dog features groups led by the bourgeoning talents of guitarist Ben Lee, drummers Jonathan Silk and Andrew Bain, and trumpeter Sean Gibbs, alongside internationally acclaimed saxophonists Stan Sulzmann and John O'Gallagher.
The album opens with the rich saxophone sound and three works from the prolific Sulzmann, accompanied by a 17-strong big band of Birmingham musicians, and is followed by an inventive improvising trio led by Andrew Bain, featuring compelling Brooklyn-come-Birmingham alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher, with the agile and ever in-demand bassist Michael Janisch. Three of the most exciting young talents to emerge from the city follow Jonathan Silk's Fragment band of strings with rhythm section, featuring trumpeter Percy Pursglove; guitarist Ben Lee's beguiling quintet; and Sean Gibbs' five-piece trumpet-fronted band Fervour.
Rooted amongst the industrial rough edges of Digbeth, near to a blue brick Victorian railway viaduct, a derelict tea warehouse and an old custard factory, the Spotted Dog adds a warmth and intensity to the music that brings musicians and audiences invitingly close together. Since 2010, this unassuming pub in the 'peaky blinder' territory of Birmingham has hosted weekly jazz gigs deep into the night, founded by saxophonist Mike Fletcher with Miriam Pau, and continued by the inimitable partnership of Jonathan Silk and Richard Foote. Even Wynton Marsalis once popped in for a jam.
With linear notes from Tony Dudley-Evans, the 75 minutes of music across nine tracks are accompanied by an inclusive digital download of the CD audio along with additional bonus material.
"It is a scene of great variety that does not have one particular recognisable sound; in a sense variety itself is the key characteristic of the Birmingham scene." - Tony Dudley-Evans
- Chu Chu (Stan Sulzmann with Big Band)
- The Thrill Is Gone (Stan Sulzmann with Big Band)
- Westerly (Stan Sulzmann with Big Band)
- Extralogical Railman (O'Gallagher / Bain / Janisch)
- The JJ I Knew (O'Gallagher / Bain / Janisch)
- First Light (Jonathan Silk's Fragment)
- Beginning Of The End (Ben Lee Quintet)
- Talk To You (Ben Lee Quintet)
- Cheer Up Old Bean (Sean Gibbs' Fervour)
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