The oldest jazz group in Tuscany currently includes 13 pieces of brass, three flutes, a vocalist, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. They presented an acoustic evening of standards in a very small room, downstairs at PortadiMareLive, a small club on the outskirts of Florence's hip oltrarno neighborhood, far from the touristy center of town. The audience was scarcely larger than the band. I don't have a complete set list, but recognized Moment's Notice, Jumpin at the Woodside, and a down and dirty Heard it Through the Grapevine. They were astonishingly tight for a group of that size and the soloists were very high caliber.
By far the coolest part (and sort of the point of the review) was seeing a big band play un-mic'd in a room of the appropriate size (bass and guitar were amped). Sometimes the piano or the flutes were lost in the "mix" but other times the whole band laid back to highlight the quieter instruments, not only doing solos, but during arrangements in which they played a big part. High on Albanian grass, I thought a lot about what it must have been like back in the day to see groups like that when they were the latest thing. The music scene is Florence is pretty weak, but last night was a definite highlight!
edit: the music scene isn't weak, it's just very provincial.
Nice! Sounds like a great night out!
Thanks for the love! Just thought the Zone might like to hear what's happening over here where we get no Phil, no Ratbob, no nothin. At least Neil's coming through in a few weeks!
And if any of you clowns are ever over here in Italy, get in touch! All love,