It was a hugely ambitious project to bring together 18 young musicians for a big band recital based on in-house composers and then Maynard Ferguson classics but Sam Eads and his band pulled it off on debut at the Queens Arms on Friday night and pulled it off easily.

The first set was mostly compositions of prodigious talent Daniel Clohesy. These gave sax player, Jason McMahon and trombonists Nick Pietsch and Jimmy Bowman (amongst others) a chance to strut their stuff supported by the work horses, Joel Prime (percussion), Polly Thomas (drums) and Marty Houlebek (bass). The second set of Maynard Ferguson standards featured a bearding Eric Santucci taking control on trumpet in a display of bluster and confidence that returned the trust placed in him by Eads to hold this portion of the show together.

Over the whole hour, the sax quintet were the stars with McMahon ably supported by Andrew Crago, Alex Mussolino as well as Clohesy.

This was a great sound and great fun as well as high inspiration to see so many young players pulling together in a venture like this. With a little more polish – not too many of the penguin suits fitted or their shoes polished – Adelaide will be blessed if they can play for us regularly.

Kryztoff Rating – 4K

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