Later in the evening, we went to see The 78 Big Band at The 78 - sort of an "all-star" band made up of various pro and semi-pro players. I love going to The 78 on Sunday nights - there are always lots of familiar faces in the audience and performing.
As usual, it was absolutely packed - it's worth getting there just a little before 9pm if you want a space. This was the third performance of this band - they don't rehearse, it's all just sight-read on the night. Being all very good players, it generally sounds very tight and in-tune. The one excepetion, which was rather scrappy, was The Chicken, which, to be fair, is a very tricky chart to sight-read, especially the intro and the fast unison horn section in the middle. The bass player changed to electric bass for this one, but I suspect upright is his first instrument - he missed out most of the intro (a difficult bit of sight-reading) and there were some other hairy moments, but when reading off chords it was all good *g*.
The solos were all fun to listen to. The stand-out soloists to us were Ryan Quigley (on the high notes as always :D) and Paul Towndrow (he had a bit of a thing for one-note solos at this gig - that reminded me of a Maceo Parker track, but I can't recall which one right now). He was swapping between tenor for ensemble playing and his more usual alto for solos.
I'll definitely go back next time I see this band is playing, but next time I'll arrange to go in to work late - I am currently functioning (mostly) on five and a half hours sleep. As it was, we had to leave after the first set. Curse 5:20am starts!