High Sierra Jazz Band
40 Years and Counting!
Champions of the West Coast revival scene, the High Sierra Jazz Band has traveled the world playing countless festivals and concerts while holding together the same rhythm section since their first show in 1976. They also host the JAZZAFFAIR festival each April in their home base of Three Rivers California. Check it out this month.
On 40 Years and Counting! They celebrate that milestone with another: their 25th album together. No slackers these, the playing is youthful and fresh as they burn through cuts from Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Lil Hardin, and other greats. Vocal responsibilities throughout the album are divided between four of seven bandmates, singing joyfully but without unnecessary showiness. I appreciated trombonist Howard Miyata’s lead on “You Meet the Nicest People in Your Dreams”.
The “High Sierra” sound is fully at home in California. Crisp rhythms and smart playing with a hint of flavors from south of the border. They bring a pleasing groove to the instrumental tracks, most notably on “Kansas City Man Blues” and some of the four Sidney Bechet numbers. Old fans of the High Sierra Jazz Band will not be disappointed and new fans will want to go digging for California gold in their archive, available at www.highsierrajazzband.com.