"Unless someone tells me differently, there's no-one else out there doing what you do. The respect for all genres of jazz shines through. You must by now be the best jazz band in the world. Sincere thanks for keeping the flame alive...."
"Deep in the Leytonstone think-tank where the Jazz Repertory Company draw up their plans, great minds work tirelessly to devise new enterprises and projects, or as we know them, to create themed concerts designed to tickle the fancy of the Cadogan Hall’s happy band of faithful followers..."
Peter Vacher, London Jazz News
There wasn't really any need for kitchen performance anxiety tonight. One of the cast-iron certainties in British jazz is that a band directed by Pete Long will cook. This remarkable phenomenon...
"...The final trumpet battle 'twixt Tom Walsh and George Hogg meant the concert ended on a high and I use the word intentionally. Top C was merely the starting point for these guys and I've been on a high ever since!"
"It says much for the musicianship of Long’s crew and his other star soloists...that their replications eschewed parody or pastiche. And that’s not to overlook the vivacious dancers...or the expert percussionists...added for Dizzy’s Latin numbers. Numerous and clearly purposeful, this cheery collective set out to take the music off the page and give it renewed life. As Long said, “If this [music] doesn’t turn you on, you haven’t got a switch!” Quite."
Swanage Jazz Festival Round-Up Review: Brian Blain
Always one of the treats for me when he is booked for the Festival as is Keith Nichols' Blue Devils Orchestra, this year presenting early Fletcher Henderson arrangements as well as creaky novelty numbers such as Skeleton in the Closet an old Armstrong number from an early Bing Crosby film. Keith always has some historical gem up his sleeve and in introducing this old piece he pointed out that the song was banned by the BBC until...
"...The Echoes of Ellington Big Band was in scintillating form, producing a wonderful array of sounds and colours, and showing off the improvisatory skills of a number of soloists, all emulating their illustrious predecessors from the original Ellington band of the late 50s..."
Richard Pite’s Jazz Repertory Company has cornered the market for large-scale celebratory excursions into past jazz history. Remember their successful replication of Benny Goodman’s famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert?
Miles Davis 1959 – Porgy and Bess…Kind of Blue And More. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so the old adage goes. Richard Pite’s Jazz Repertory Company and regular MD Pete Long appear to be up collectively for whatever challenges come their way. Or that they set themselves. Hence this highly impressive endeavor.
This year’s London Jazz Festival may well have been the biggest and best to date. Let the critics decide. No such hesitation for Richard Pite’s Jazz Repertory Company as this concert was irrefutably their mightiest show so far and arguably one of their best.