The Gramophone Allstars Big Band ★★★✩✩

Place and date: Parallel 62 (18/V/2024)

The Bisbal D’Empordà orchestra, led by saxophonist Genís Bou since 2008, has gone through two stages. A first, which was called The Gramophone Allstars, with three albums oriented towards Jamaican sounds. And a second in which it increased in size to become Big Band. In this new phase they have released three more albums in which, without giving up reggae and ska, they open up to jazz and soul, a facet in which the voices of Kathy and Yolanda Sey are decisive.

The Curtcircuit concert series took them to the Paral·lel to present Call your friends, in which, as its title indicates, they invite several musicians and singers. And although most of them were conspicuous by their absence, a large combo of fourteen instrumentalists gathered on stage, with a prominent brass section made up of 3 trumpets, 2 trombones and 4 saxes. With these wickers they dedicate themselves to teaching classicism lessons with class, alternating their own themes and versions. After an instrumental intro, in which the Latin nuance provided by the congas already emerged, they attacked Old rocking chair, transforming the classic of their beloved The Skatalites into smoky soul.

The only singer from her new work who made an appearance was the Portuguese Marta Garrett, who from I Like It showed her jazzy ways, something that would be reaffirmed in Shit Happens, brilliantly replacing Judit Neddermann, and at the end of party with the Caribbean ska of an I don’t know linked to the Simmer down of the original Wailers.

In the versions section, the arrangements of Bob Marley’s classic Could You Be Loved shone, with the special contribution to bass by Tito Bonacera, an All I do by Stevie Wonder, signed by the silky voices of the Sey sisters, the impeccable boogaloo full of groove The soul drummers by the great Ray Barretto and a Funky Kingston by Toots