It's easy to listen to, relaxing and thought provoking. Jazz is its own breed in the music world. The musicians that play this hybrid of musical styles have to be proficient in hearing every note and beat.
We have a jazz band here in Burke who does just that, called The Big Enough Band. These 5 members collaborate to fuse together a sound most musicians can't reach. The band is led by prolific jazz guitarist Allan Harrington. The Big Enough Band plays most of Harrington's songs from his eight released CDs, along with various Jazz Standards. Other members of the band include singers Myriet Jno-Louis and Vih Duffy, Mike Gedzelman on alto saxophone, Jim Callahan on Bass and Marc Feldman on drums and percussion
I recently had the privilege of interviewing the band's lead guitarist Allan Harrington, one of our area's most seasoned musicians.
Darien Novillo: How do you find time to practice with Big Enough Band while working?
Allan Harrington: "Well, it's not always easy, I do try to find time to practice my scales at least once a week, and usually that ends up with me getting an idea for a song. If I have the time, I try to get it roughed out and recorded. However, many times it is late, and I have to go to work the next day. Hopefully, I'll remember it later."
DN: Your catalog of music is tremendous. Where do you draw your influences from?
AH: "Over the years I've played in many different bands. I did a solo act years ago on the college circuit, and have done duo and trios. Each band played different kinds of music. I studied classical guitar for a while and that led me to Heitor Villa Lobos, a great Brazilian composer, which led me to Bossa Nova, then to jazz swing, and so on..."
DN: How did the Big Enough band come together?
AH: "One piece at a time. Most of the players I met using Craigslist."
DN: This town hold amazing musicians. What would you like to see happen in our area to bring more exposure to musicians like you?
AH: "Some of the restaurants could be more open to having a small group there during the dinner hour. Of course the Big Enough Band would be too big! I have to be careful where I book that band to play. I am currently working with an amazing bassist on a jazz duo so we can play places like that."
DN: What are you listening to lately? What's on your iPod?
AH: "Pretty much whatever my friends turn me on to, mostly jazz.
What's on my iPod? Dust, I can't remember that last time i listened to that, I think it still works!"
DN: What advantages has the Internet given you in your music and rehearsing material with the band?
AH: "I can email or post a song or chord charts to someone so they can go over it before they get here. That's the way I usually do it when someone is going to come over to record a part. There have been a few cases where I sent the other musician the song file, they recorded their part, and sent it back to me for mix-down. For the most part [though], I prefer to have them here in the studio when recording, so we can go over things if need be."
DN: Where can you be seen playing?
AH: "I've played at Bangkok Blues [in Falls Church] many times over the years. I just played there a few weeks ago. I am sure I'll be back there in the Fall sometime."
You can find out more information about The Big Enough Band at www.bigenoughband.com.