It's said that if you truly want to hear a musician's talent, slow down the tempo. Andy Bey sings some of the slowest tempos today: Listening to him is like looking over a master artist's shoulder as he meticulously applies paint to a canvas.
JC Hopkins and the Biggish Band have yet another album on the Big Apple horizon, New York Moment, set for release in March of 2020. The title nods to that moment when the fast paced metropolitan life, and all of its challenges, fades away when a great artist hits just the right notes. The songs and the sound of the album encapsulates ‘The ‘New York Experience,’ celebrating a very current, living spirit of jazz and song on display every Saturday night as the Biggish Band play their weekly residency at Minton’s- the birthplace of bebop.
The Biggish Band is a ten piece jazz orchestra that features four dynamic young vocalists who do a palpably stellar job of interpreting Hopkins’ new original compositions. Nico Sarbanes has a sound and look reminiscent of a young Sinatra only he plays trumpet like Clifford Brown. Joy Hanson’s voice is both evocative and ebullient as she sings both ballads and more swinging material effortlessly. Vanisha Gould brings a distinctly soulful sound to the numbers where she is featured and Shawn Whitehorn’s baritone on “Oh, Kitty” is breathtaking. All four are distinctive singers and performers. The group’s tenor saxophonist Drew Vandewinkle, is responsible for most of the arrangements on the album which have been honed by the regularity of their routinely sold out weekly engagements.
February 7 Andy Bey
February 21 Benny Benack
February 28 Binky Griptite Orchestra
March 6th Wayne Tucker
March 20th Mark Whitfield All-Stars
March 27th Binky Griptite Orchestra
March 28th JC Hopkins Biggish Band record release party for "New York Moment"
“Minton’s, the Harlem jazz club that has been tightening up its bookings in exciting ways…”
– Ben Ratliff, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“There’s a bona fide scene going on these days under the revived Minton's banner in Harlem, and it includes both notable music and good food…”.*– Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal*
NEW YORK TIMES
J. C. Hopkins Biggish Band (Friday and Saturday) Led by the bandleader, songwriter and producer for which it’s named, the J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band has always been a friend to vocalists, and in this engagement, the group pays a centenary tribute to Billie Holiday. Among the many singers assembled are Brianna Thomas, Charenee Wade, Charles Turner and Jazzmeia Horn. From 6 to 11 p.m., Minton’s, 206 West 118th Street, Harlem,212-243-2222, mintonsharlem.com. (Chinen)
At Minton's, you're part of the choir. There's this part in "Moanin'" where—not in the original version but in this one, arranged by JC Hopkins and which his band, JC Hopkins' Biggish Band, plays—the horn section shouts out, call-and-response style. This night, we get in on it, too. Bum be de BOMP. HEY! Be dop bop be da BOMP. HEY! Bum be de BOMP. HEY! And it's not anger any longer, but joy.