The bad boys from Chicago are late - terribly late. The last show at Ronnie Scott's normally starts around 11.30pm, but the band eventually takes the stage at closer to 12:30am!
No angry faces, no frustration, no fed up faces amongst the crowd, just eagerness from every corner of the club for the show to start. The boys glide in, almost unnoticed, and after a few minutes the show starts. The power and energy these young men can send through to the audience is thrilling.
Here is a line-up to make anyone get excited, stand up and dance…
Gabriel Hubert - trumpet/vocals
Amal Hubert - trumpet/cornet
Tarik Graves - trumpet/vocals
Seba Graves - trombone/tenor saxophone
Saiph Graves - tenor trombone
Uttama Hubert - Euphonium/vocals
Austin Williamson - percussion/drum kit
Hashim Bunch - electric bass/6-string guitar
Kevin Hunt - electric/acoustic guitar
When I saw Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at Ronnies last year, they were a marvel, but this time round something has changed, it seems: they have grown. Their performance is slick, tighter, the music and lyrics a perfect amalgam of hip-hop jazz brass sounds, served with a good dose of verve and vitality.
They play and sing for over an hour, songs old and new, and what transpires the most is that these guys never tire; instead they create more power and fire throughout the night by simply being on stage, playing and singing for a very receptive crowd. Brothers and friends, they make everyone stand up and move, dance to an infectious rhythm.
I cannot point out anyone of them in particular for the simple reason that it would not be fair; they were all individually potent, and together just fiery!
The show is over, and stepping out into the warm air of Frith Street it’s the early hours of the morning; a few tired faces but it has been another show to remember!
Hypnotic Brass, aka the Bad Boys of Jazz - nobody does bad like they do!
Words: Erminia Yardley
Photos: Carl Hyde