Snape Proms: Jazz Jamaica

Snape Proms 2007: Jazz Jamaica - Tighten Up

Snape Proms 2007: Jazz Jamaica - Tighten Up

THE sun-soaked sounds of the Caribbean played by Jazz Jamaica got this year's Snape Proms off to a highly exhilarating start.

The constant reggae beat soon had feet tapping, followed by a hesitant attempt at dancing by one hip-swaying hipster who managed to hold off the attempts by a steward to stop her.

By the end of the evening they were literally dancing all over the place. With the pulsating rhythms it was difficult not to - you might say Aldeburgh Carnival had come early!


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Gary Crosby and his Jazz Jamaica had attracted a sell out audience and it was soon evident why.

The ten-piece band that includes some of the world's best musicians have been touring, on and off, for the best part of seventeen years, and the news had certainly spread.

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They are a tight, well-rehearsed outfit with the bold and brassy front line backed by cracking rhythm section that drives them along

I don't think many in the audience could have imagined the James Bond theme and the music from the film, Guns of Navarone set to a reggae rhythm let alone the theme from The Godfather that featured some superb trumpet playing by Abram Wilson.

The theme developed, inevitably, into a Caribbean rhythm and brought in saxmen, Denys Bapiste and Nathaniel Facey with trombonist Harry “goes to church every Sunday” Brown to produce some discordant notes to create the sound of a police siren.

After the interval guest singer Myrna Hague was introduced. Dressed in orange and green she brought even more of a carnival atmosphere to the evening with a selection of ballads, Jamaica style.

The medley included top-selling My Boy Lollipop, the first Caribbean song to go worldwide in the pop charts and bringing stardom to young Millie Small. She finished her set with St Louis Woman.

Now who would have thought the blues from the Deep South of America could have been reinvented reggae style?

The show ended with the percussion section - Cuban Noda Fernandez on conga and drummer Rod Young - being allowed to do their party piece.

What a party, what an evening and what a start to this year's Proms.

Alan Crumpton

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