In the pieces I write for this site I try to mix information about forthcoming gigs I am involved with more general pieces about an aspect of the scene that interests me. In writing about Jacob Garchik and the forthcoming tour with the UK Gospel Choir, I am doing a bit of both.
The UK Gospel Trombone Choir has come about as a result of the enthusiasm of both myself and trombonist Richard Foote for the music of Jacob Garchik, a New York based trombone player. I first heard Jacob in a small group setting with drummer Dan Weiss and pianist Jacob Sacks. I was then really taken with an album called The Heavens devoted to brass interpretations of gospel songs and was delighted to learn that Richard, leader of the inspirational Young Pilgrims band, was similarly enthused. With the Arts Council funding for the TDE Promotions/Fizzle programme in place, we invited Jacob to come over and work with a UK version of the band selected by Richard.
I have always enjoyed listening to brass bands and often thought that an element of improvisation could be incorporated into their music. So I was delighted to hear Neil Yates’ Sketches of a Northern Town, a project that did precisely that, a brass band feel with great jazz solos. That was commissioned and premiered by Manchester Jazz Festival and also performed at Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
The Gospel Trombone Choir is, however, somewhat different. It draws its inspiration from Jacob Garchik’s love of gospel music which he describes as ‘some of the greatest music I’d ever heard’ and from the tradition in the United House of Prayer churches on the East Coast of the USA of mass trombone choirs playing gospel songs. Jacob describes that music as ‘very passionate, very exciting’ (Jazzlines newspaper). That same passion and excitement is there in the trombone choir that Jacob formed in New York. You can listen to a sample here.
The UK version has six trombones plus Jacob himself, tuba and drums. It plays the CBSO Centre, Birmingham on Saturday 16th March (details here), the Yellow Arch, Sheffield on Sunday 17th (details here), and the Vortex London on Monday 18th (details here).
The quotes from Jacob are from the Jazzlines newspaper published by Town Hall Symphony Hall available at all Jazzlines gigs.