Monday, December 14, 2015

The People's Liberation Big Band Ends an Era at the Record Bar

To a standing room only crowd, a seven-and-a-half year jazz era concluded on Sunday, December 6th when the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City performed their last show in this location of the Record Bar.

The Record Bar loses its lease after New Year’s Eve. But while we wait for a new location to be vetted, People’s Lib loses, for now, its home on the first Sunday of each month.

This night the band played the best known and most popular numbers in its eclectic library and recorded the show, presumably for a future CD release. It was a reminder of how its music is so wonderfully inventive. Sometimes outlandish but consistently accessible and fun, this is what an extraordinary collection of jazz talent can produce when given the freedom to explore.

If you missed it, below are glimpses at a few of the musicians on stage. As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.

The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City

Leader Brad Cox taking a turn on piano

Shay Estes sings

Mark Southerland on sax

Jeff Harshbarger on bass

Multi-instrumentalist Mark Cohick

Roger Wilder on piano, clearly enjoying the music

Forrest Stewart

Mike Stover

Rich Wheeler on sax

Sam Wisman on drums

Shay Estes

When I've heard Mark Southerland before, it was on odd instruments of his own invention playing music that experimented a bit beyond what I understand and enjoy. This night he played a beautiful and powerful extended saxophone solo that won - deservedly - a standing ovation.

Brad Cox directs the People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City in the Record Bar

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