Paul Lacey’s Back to Basie Orchestra
Norwich Playhouse played host to an electric evening of Count Basie-style swing.
Those seeking an authentic Basie big band sound were not to be disappointed. Performing much music originally written for Basie, the group demonstrated a dynamic camaraderie that can only aid musical enjoyment. An appreciative audience delighted in the diversity and vigour of this group.
Pianist Nick Dawson's subtle technique and scintillating fingering was delightfully contrasted by drummer Matt Skelton's energetic playing. Rarely are drum solos so well received.
Singer Jacqui Hicks had a stage presence reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. Her astounding voice allowed every word to be heard even above the might of the full band.
The lead trombone playing of Andy Wood combined tone with delicate phrasing and a lyrical quality.
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Paul Lacey's trumpet playing comes with diverse techniques and every mute available. His group blend beautifully; the soft passages are hauntingly expressive. By watching these musicians one can clearly see they love their music and enjoy playing together. A greater treat could not have been delivered.