2 Concerts, 1 Week! March 31 2011, 0 Comments

Our company president (and a few of us) got to see two of the military bands play recently. Here is a review he has written to share his experience with you: I had the rare privilege of hearing two of the greatest touring big bands in the past week. Last Wednesday, March 23, I attended a concert by the superb US Air Force Airmen of Note at Ingram Hall at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. This past Tuesday, March 29, I was equally lucky to hear the US Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors at Centennial High School in Franklin, TN. Both concerts were magnificent. The Airmen of Note under the musical direction of SMSgt Joe Jackson (also lead trombone) was so good it made me want to sing and dance. Highlights included a wonderful flugelhorn solo by the SMSgt Kevin Burns on “Always and Forever.” As an old guitar player, I just really loved the extended solos by TSgt Geoff Reecer. Of particular interest was vocalist TSgt Paige Martin. Her uniquely unusual and beautiful voice was amazing. She is also the only white female vocalist I have ever heard scat. It was something to hear. Another highlight was an extended electric bass solo by CMSgt Paul Henry on Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” It was a special pleasure for me to meet CMSgt Dudley Hinote (bass trombone) who is also the NCO in Charge of this great band. The performance was superb, and the CD with the program was a nice plus. The Jazz Ambassadors gave a great concert as well even though the acoustics of the multipurpose room at the high school were quite inferior to those at Ingram Hall at Vanderbilt.  That didn’t stop me from enjoying a fantastic band and a fantastic performance.  Under the direction of CWO Gordon Kippola, the band was tight and really rocking. Every player was really strong with numerous extended solos. Big complements to the Rhythm Section of SGM  Jeff Lopez (bass), MSgt Tim Young (piano), SFC Todd Harrison (drums) and SSG Stephen Lesche (Guitar). They were solid and inspiring all night. Vocalist MSgt Marva Lewis has a sublime voice and made me cry when she did the Barry Manilow song “All the Time” with just a piano accompaniment.  The band did a nice tribute to David Hale, the Centennial High Band Director who is retiring this year. So two great bands in less than seven days! Hard to beat that experience. If you have never heard either of these bands, do yourself a favor and go to a concert when they are in your town. Touring info for each group is below. http://www.USAFBand.af.mil/events/index.asp http://www.armyfieldband.com/pages/schedule/ja_sched.html Al McCree President Altissimo! Recordings