As a musician, my favorite form of jazz has always been big band. Being in the rhythm section as a motor to such a behemoth group of musicians makes one feel like the king of the world. The sheer power on all sides of the band makes any musician on the stand feel like a super-power at play with equally authoritative sovereign nations, juggling a dynamic ball of music in the interest of the greater good. It is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of sonic cooperation which results in a feeling of unsurpassed joy.
As a listener, I still get goosebumps when an experienced big band captures my ear. It captivates me to hear the music as a whole, rather than individual soloists making comments on common themes. It’s reasoning is authoritative and can’t help but move me to involuntary head jerks, hip movements and yes, sometimes tears.
The H2 Big Band couldn’t be a better embodiment of the big band genre. It’s confluence of Denver All Stars guided by the expressive performances of trumpeter Alan Hood and composer/arranger/pianist Dave Hanson makes the big band genre sing with renewed excitement. Hanson’s arrangements are, as always, meaningful and poignant and the musicians chosen to extract them from the pages are the perfect artists to paint the canvas. Just listen to Dave Hanson’s arrangement of “Singing in the Rain”:
Contrasted with “Hocus Pocus”, I don’t know which song makes me happier to be in a room witnessing this horde of phenomenal musicians that make up the H2 Big Band. Their latest album “It Could Happen” can be found on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music and just about any other medium you please. But, to get that full effect, I highly recommend you take opportunity to see them live at one of their limited performances.
The H2 Big Band will be performing with us here at Dazzle on December 27th and as nature would have it, we have extended the room to include a dance floor to accommodate all of those who wish to dance the night away!