August 17, 2016

The Brighton Beat: Hear and Now

The Brighton Beat like to hit the ground running. Fancy Beast, the first track of their new album Hear and Now, kicks off with a sexy bass line to get the ball roiling, shekeres join in and, after a few feeler blasts, the brass section, percussion and guitars lock into a groove, giving the saxes plenty of room to roam free. And that's just for starters.

Sounding even more funky than on their previous album Of We Go, the NYC based big band are determined to bring the house down with a swinging Genghis Khan - the Mongolian emperor wouldn't have dreamed that 900 years after his death people would be smiling listening to track named after him - the brass heavy controlled clamour of Serengeti Waltz and the NOLA vibe of Sweet Baby Chazz.

The Afrobeat jazz funk big band take their party music very seriously. Spontaneity and fun are keywords for their lengthy excursions, but it's not jamming for jamming's sake. If you want people to dance at your shows, you have to lay down a tight rhythm and throw in a few breather bars every now and then. It's OK for the audience to work up a seat, but there is no need to exhaust them. The answer is simple: allow individual members or band sections a place in the spotlights with a succinct solo, giving the dancers the opportunity to slow down a bit during those segments.

The Brighton Beat are aware that you need valleys between the peaks. Hear and Now is their third album and they keep growing and sounding fresh.

The Brighton Beat:
Ryan Hinchey: bass
Sammy Wags: drums
Greg Schettino: guitar left
Mark Cocheo: guitar tight
Jon Bean: tenor sax
Mark Zaleski: alto sax
Nat Ranson: trombone
Nick Benitez: trumpet
Dan Glaude: alto sax, bass clarinet, flute
Drew Vandewinckel: baritone sax
Ryan Nava: shekere, congas, blocks
Matt Graff: shekere, bass drum, rain stick
Jimmy Lopez: congas, pandeiro
Ben Teters: congas, djembe, bells, blocks, percussion
Jon Paul Ruggieri: slide guitar

Hear and Now is a self-released album. Buy it from the band's website.

  1. Fancy Beast
  2. Genghis Khan
  3. Serengeti Waltz
  4. Slip and Slide
  5. Sweet Baby Chazz
  6. Elephant Slumber
  7. Winter Nightmare

Live dates:


HCTF review of Off We Go.

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