There are a lot of things I could be snarky about here in Washington, DC, but who could be snarky about a…PUPPY?! Maybe that’s the genius behind the name of this 13 piece, jazzy-fusion-pop-instrumental band, in concert this week with the National Symphony Orchesta.
I first heard about this band from my friend Deone Johnson, long-time trumpet player in Free and Easy, the band I played with in Minneapolis in the 80s. He sent me a video link to a tune called “Lingus,” and I was hooked. Check it out on YouTube! I then sent it to my buddy Jeff, who was paying attention when they announced they would be performing their new collaboration, “Sylva,” in DC with the NSO.
While most of their music is jazz-based, with lots of horn, guitar, keyboards and percussion, this suite of tunes is built around a string orchestra, with a big dose of trombone and sousaphone at the base. Band leader, bass player and composer, Micheal League, wrote this in collaboration with the conductor of the Metropole Orkest, Jules Buckley, who conducted the rhythmically challenging passages with tight precision – baton in his left hand. League is a native of Virginia and this was the US premier, with mom and dad in the audience.
I look forward to what this talented, young band will do next!