Sarah Ellen Hughes Big Band @ The Manor – 13th March 2011

Sarah Ellen Hughes Big Band @ The Manor – 13th March 2011

In The Band: Sarah Ellen Hughes (vocals/flute, front right) & Anna Hughes (vocals/ trumpet/flugel, front left) co-leading (from left) Rob Taggart (keyboard); Ryan Trebilcock (bass); Scott Chapman (drums); Richard Freeman, Gabriel Garrick, Tommy Walsh (trumpets); Natalie Witts, Martin Gladdish, Rhys Smith (tenor trombones); Andy Lester (bass trombone); saxes: Sam Bullard (tenor, part-hidden), Richard Shepherd (alto), Phil Knights (alto, hidden), Tom Stone (tenor), Erica Clarke (baritone).

Set 1: Too Close For Comfort (v) (Jerry Bock/Lawrence Holofcener/George Weiss, arr. Patrick Williams for Patti Austin) [Sarah (voc); no solos] : Midnight Sun (v) (J Francis Burke/Johnny Mercer, arr. SEH) [intro & solo: Anna (flgl); Sarah (voc)] : Heat Of The Moment (v) (Bill Ashton/Dick Walter, arr. Dick Walter) [intro: Rob, Sarah (voc); solo: Sam] : Return Flight (Tom Stone) [theme: Tommy; solos: Tommy, Tom] : All Of Me (Seymour Simmons, arr. Billy Byers) [intro: Rob & Ryan; solo: Rob] : A-Tisket, A-Tasket (v) (Van Alexander/Ella Fitzgerald, arr. Chick Webb) [Sarah (voc); no solos] : Someone To Watch Over Me (v) (George & Ira Gershwin, arr. Miles Collins) [Sarah (voc) over muted tpts)] : Twos Hughes Blues (Sarah Ellen Hughes) [intro: Rob; theme: Anna (tpt) & Sarah (flt); Sarah (scat voc); solos: Richard, Ryan] : That Old Black Magic (v) (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer, arr. Billy May) [Sarah (voc); solo: Tom]

Set 2: But Not For Me (v) (George & Ira Gershwin, arr. SEH) [Anna & Sarah (vocs) duet; solos: Richard, Rob, Scott] : When Sunny Gets Blue (v) (Marvin Fisher/Jack Segal, arr. SEH) [intro: Rob; Anna & Sarah (vocs) duet; solo: Ryan] : How Can You Believe In Love? (v) (Tim Colwell, arr. Adrian Fry) [Sarah (voc); solo: Gabriel; solis: tmbs, saxes; coda: Gabriel] : How Many Times? (Gabriel Garrick) [feature for Gabriel; solo: Phil] : Putney Vale (Tom Stone, arr. Callum Au) [feature for Tom; solos: Tommy, Sarah (flt), Rob] : Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart (v) (James F Hanley, arr. Brian Pendleton) [Sarah (voc); no solos] : Cute (Neal Hefti) [intro: Scott (brushes); solo: Rob over muted tpts & tmbs] : Sunday Samba (Sarah Ellen Hughes) [intro: Rob; theme: Anna (flgl) & Sarah (flt); solos: Sarah (flt), Martin, Scott] : Centrepiece (v) (Harry Edison/Jon Hendricks, arr. SEH) [Tommy + Anna + Sarah chorus (vocs) over Gabriel (muted); individual (scat vocs); chorus (vocs) a capella, then with band; coda: Gabriel]. ( denotes Quartet numbers)

The Gig: This concert, only the second ever outing for Sarah Ellen’s classy aggregation, provided us with two tremendous hours of superbly-played big band jazz.

Highlights of the afternoon were: Anna’s flugel accompaniment to Sarah Ellen’s vocal on Midnight Sun; Rob’s solo on Billy Byers’ arrangement for Count Basie of All Of Me; Richard’s stunning alto solo on the quartet number But Not For Me; Gabriel’s solo on the bluesy How Can You Believe In Love?; and Scott’s tricksy brushwork on Cute. But the concert standout was the finale – Centrepiece Tommy’s, Anna’s and Sarah Ellen’s re-creation of the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross classic. A superb surprise!

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photo: Steve Harris