Lichfield Jazz Christmas Special

Concert Review – Lichfield Jazz Christmas Special with the Lichfield Jazz Big Band

Words and photography by Ben Macnair

With a sold-out, capacity audience, some of the finest jazz musicians from the local area together on one stage,  and a setlist that was packed full of new and unusual arrangements of some classic Christmas carols, and festive songs, this was a great concert for Lichfield Jazz to end the decade on.

Led by Trumpeter, composer and arranger Nick Dewhurst, there was enough Jazz musicianship on display to please purists, but also enough festive cheer to keep everyone happy. With two originals from Nick, the rest of the night was taken with some interesting choices, with Hark The Herald Angels Sing being delivered in a brass-heavy version, whilst the groups delivery of In The Bleak Midwinter started of the slow melody we all knew, before a thumping, bass and drum part from Tom Moore and Tash Robson Lewis kicked in, adding something of a 1970’s police show theme to Christina Rosetti’s words.

Other festive favourites included a playful Santa Claus is Coming To Town, White Christ, and It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas, with many of the solos taking the songs into new and previously unexplored sonic territories.

Chris Wrapping by The Waitresses featured a telling Saxophone solo from Sam Craig, whilst the two pieces written by Nick Dewhurst, One for Dennis and Heatwave allowed for some fine ensemble playing from the well-drilled group, and some fine improvisation from many of the players.

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