Over the past several years, Daniel Western, leader of The Birmingham Seven, has been creating an awesome and ever-growing repertoire for a seven piece band (4 horns & 3 rhythm). The number of tunes the band can play at any moment is now somewhere in the 60s, and he has done almost all of the writing, be it transcribing, arranging, or composing, HIMSELF. The paperwork alone seems a bit overwhelming. The tune choices and the charts are great, and the band members are a joy to play with, so this is always one of the most fun jazz things I get to do. The link below will take you to a recording done by Dennis Tyler in the summer of 2011 at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama. Download it for FREE with no monkey business (the Internet Archive is a non-profit that was founded to allow the general public to archive & access text, audio, etc.) by clicking the link below!
The Birmingham Seven at Aldridge Gardens (link opens in new window)
Here we are at Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa) in September of 2013, playing a bunch of tunes from the record.
Turns out that we clean up real good.
Dan wrote settings for several Sun Ra tunes, and we present them as a special repertoire show at schools and other venues. We had a particularly smokin' time at Birmingham's Parker High School in February 2012 (maybe because Sun Ra went there- no kidding!), and here are the first couple of tunes we played that morning:
The Birmingham Seven - Sun Ra - Parker High School (music plays in new window)
personnel for this date: Rob Alley - trumpet / Jon Noffsinger - alto sax / Gary Wheat - tenor sax / Daniel Western - bari sax / Roy Yarbrough - bass / me - drums (actual total = The Birmingham Six)
Here we are at Bates Brothers Recording in Hueytown, AL, July 2012.
:: photos by Chris Kozak ::