The reviews for Jazz on the Hill have been in the can for months. I was just not inclined to publish any of it before now.
For a band that was put together a matter of days before taking to the main stage at Jazz on the Hill, Tom Browne and Friends surprised when they came off the blocks. It was a cooker, but the gas was disturbed by an ill wind before the finish.
Trinidad born BVI based pannist, Marlon Abner, featured prominently throughout the set. He was particularly with it on Earth Wind and Fire’s Back Stabbers for a start, but as to whether he ran out of ideas or was unsure of the arrangement of the song, I do not know. Anyhow, his solo fizzled and died at the end. One thing is for sure, he knew it; his reaction afterwards was proof enough. For he was sensitive to the fact that a fine solo must be predictable at the point of resolution, not just for the listener, but most importantly as a cue to the rest of the band. The solo was not resolved to my satisfaction.
The leader did not help the cause any better on this rendition due to a patent lack of fluidity on the trumpet. His notes though full of pyrotechnics, were nevertheless uneven thus extracting the rich substance of the melody from the music.
However, all this is not to say that Browne was all bust. Far from it, Back Stabbers was just his down side in a rather short, albeit unsatisfying set. Actually, Tom Browne was making way for the headline act for the night, Daniel Bishop and Friends.
Tom Browne came to Jazz on the Hill, Virgin Gorda with a sound reputation. Sadly, he did not sparkle, thus leaving the J-Fans rather blue than Browne.
More on Jazz on the Hill 2009 as my muse dictates…