Concert Review

We have asked YCP students to attend a concert and create a review to post on the blog. Here is the first!

Jonathan Silk’s Fragment By A.T
CBSO Centre, Birmingham UK

Over the years the use of strings has become a way for jazz musicians to add an extra something to their music. From the early days of Be-bop when Charlie Parker released his album ‘Charlie Parker with Strings’ through to Daniel Herskedal releasing his ‘The Roc’ later this month with a jazz quintet made up of tuba/bass trumpet, viola, cello, piano and percussion. Jazz musicians have collaborated with string players looking to add a greater depth or a different voice. This is the case with Jonathan Silk whose latest big band project includes a string section made up of 8 violins, 2 cellos, and 2 violas to complement a fairly standard big band set-up. Jonathan Silk is a charismatic Scottish drummer who as well as being one of the UK’s leading young jazz musicians is also an exceptionally talented composer.

On December 9th 2016, I had the privilege to attend the concert at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham. We were treated to music for the album Fragment as well as music which wasn’t on the album. The band on the night was conducted by non-other than the legendary Scottish drummer Andrew Bain. Listening to the perfect blend of “traditional” big band instruments and the string section play new music was spectacular. We heard some fine solos from the likes of pianists Toby Boalch and Andy Bunting, trombonist Richard Foote, alto saxophonists Mike Fletcher and Chris Maddock, trumpeters Mike Addlington and Reuben Fowler and tenor saxophonist John Flemming.

The atmosphere and feeling from the band was something of note with the band looking like they were genuinely enjoying themselves and having a good time playing and showing off the excellent music created by such a large band. The highlights of the night were ‘First Light’ and ‘Buchaille’ which I feel the strings added a real extra emotional dimension to. Overall it was a fantastic gig and I thoroughly recommend the purchase of the album.


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