LIVE: Magnarelli, Lalama, Allen, Jenkins et al. swing hard @ The Lost and Found 1/16/2020
Drummer Joe Barna and valve trombonist Phil Allen are stalwarts of the Nippertown jazz community. Joe has been active on the scene since 2004 both leading bands and as a band member. He is presently best known for his band “Sketches of Influence” which has a Monday night residency at Lucas’ Confectionary in Troy. Phil Allen hails originally from Indiana with stops in the Bay area and Colorado Springs, CO. Phil is active with many projects including his own Concert Jazz Band, various duos, trios and the Skip Parsons Dixieland Band. They joined forces to form a septet to perform Phil’s arrangement of some of his favorite jazz standards. To accommodate the band, the Lost and Found in Albany was chosen.
The band swung hard to Phil’s arrangements of tunes composed by or made famous by Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. In many ways, the sold out crowd fed the band’s virtuosity and vice versa.
Even though the band had not performed together before, they sounded tight. That’s the beauty of jazz, the ability of musicians to listen and feed off each other. The common thread was Joe Barna, everybody had played with Joe. As musicians traded phrases, you could see the smiles as they grinned with satisfaction as they listened to one another and together as a unit.
The interpretation of Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance” originally played by a quintet took on a fuller sound with a septet than the original recording.
Lee Morgan’s boogaloo “Sidewinder” was taken as an opportunity for everybody to stretch to a fun song. Too bad there was no room to dance.
“Someday My Prince Will Come”, a composition originally associated with Walt Disney and later a jazz standard by Miles Davis, was sweetly performed by the ensemble, the familiar piano intro was not even missed (there is no piano in this ensemble).
The encore was the Coltrane/Ellington composition “Take the Coltrane” taken at a breakneck pace by all.
Hopefully this will the first evening of many of straight-ahead jazz at the Lost and Found.