I went up to Denton last night to see the Rep Ensemble perform its second concert of Hermeto Pascoal music. I'd seen them at the Syndicate earlier in the month, but I'd missed their last Kenton Hall concert a while back, so it was cool to see the band in a place where people were paying attention all the time.
I missed the opening tune, coming in from big band as I was, but I heard most of it from the hallway. It had the rhythm, vibrancy and joy that typefies so much Brazilian music, and it also reminded me so much of...the Pat Metheny Group. I was always aware of how much his music was influenced by Brazilian sounds, but this served to reinforce it even more.
One of the coolest things happened on the next-to-last tune, "Bebe," when director John Murphy told us that we were about to see the class in action--the true "lab" part of things. He then passed out a chart they'd never seen before, and they spent a few minutes discussing some things and doing some spot-arranging of parts. There were a few ragged edges, but all in all it sounded great. I was especially impressed with the fact that their awesome singer, who I discussed in the post about their earlier concert, was also sight-reading her parts and still nailing them.
Next semester, the group will tackle the "top 96 tunes of the Swing Era," which is a stylistic 180-degree turn, but should still be really interesting. And I definitely need to add some Pascoal CD's to my collection now.
You stepped out of a dream: Halfling has started a new site where the objective will be to list your "dream big band." There will be several different categories: all-time, all-living, all-dead, and so on. I'll be involved with the site as well, and anyone can enter their favorites in the comments section. At any rate, it's called Dreamland Big Band, and you should go by and check it out sometime.