The Santa Barbara Jazz Society was pleased to present the Grammy Nominated Phil Norman Tentet in a rare appearance at SOhO. The band played selections from Then and Now, Encore, Live at Catalinas and other CD’s released over the last 20 years.

What a treat to be able to hear such gifted jazz musicians in Santa Barbara! The guys who make up the illustrious Tentet played their hearts out last Sunday for the Jazz Society at SOhO. Such a talented and dedicated bunch of men and led by Phil Norman, a guy that doesn’t even get paid!. The band has wonderful charts arranged by some of the band members and others, but all the best in the business. And even though they probably perform the same arrangements many times, they always manage to sound fresh, probably due to the fine soloists.
The band opened to afternoon with Softly As In a Morning Sunrise with a definite nod to the Stan Kenton Orchestra. The brilliant pianist, Christian Jacob, always a standout, kept Latin excitement going in a nice contrast to the next tune, Tenderly, in 3/4 time and arranged by former member, Bob Florence. There were some lovely solos by trumpet and flugelhorn players, Ron Stout and Carl Saunders. And in fact Carl wrote and arranged a tune played later that afternoon called Dear Mr. Florence, a beautiful tribute the their former colleague.
It was great to hear the band’s arrangement on Lullaby of Birdland which featured Christian Jacob on piano, guitarist Mike Scott, bassist Kevin Axt, and Brad Dutz on vibes to replicate that “Shearing Sound.” Another poignant tribute that afternoon was to Jazz Society President, Peter Clark who is stepping down for health reasons. The band played a lovely arrangement of his composition, Reflections. Peter has been a huge contributor to the Jazz Society and the jazz scene in Santa Barbara for many years. You will be missed, Peter!
There were so many great tunes, arrangements, and solos that afternoon, I can’t list them all, but one of my favorites was Dizzy’s, Night in Tunisia played in an unusual 5/4 rhythm quoting other Gillespie tunes, Manteca and Con Alma with fabulous solos by trumpeters, Stout and Saunders and guitarist, Mike Scott.

The afternoon was magical to be sure and was brought to us by the generosity of Lucy and Richard Janssen. And If you missed the concert…not to worry…we’ll try our best to get them back!

Photos by Mark McDonald

The Phil Norman Tentet Sept 2018

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