Average White Band
Dec 12 - Dec 15, 2013
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents funk superstars Average White Band for four nights! Band members include Onnie McIntyre (guitar, vocals), Alan Gorrie (bass, guitar, lead vocals), Fred Vigdor (saxophones), Monte Croft (keyboard, bass, guitar), Brent Carter (lead vocals) and Rocky Bryant (drums). Set times Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, and Sunday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm on Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.
The Average White Band, widely considered among the very best in R&B and soul history, returns to Jazz Alley for four nights of blistering funk. For the better part of the last forty years, the Average White Band has performed sold-out shows around the world, confirming the timeless appeal of their infectious flair.
The heyday of funk music yielded a number of R&B groups making serious waves in the music world. None, though, made as big a splash as a certain band of seemingly out-of-place Scotsmen. With a self-effacing name, fiery guitars and the tightest horn section this side of Tower of Power, the Average White Band stormed onto the U.S. Billboard charts in 1974 with their self-titled AWB. A blazing set of soul and funk masterpieces, AWB featured the phenomenally successful instrumental “Pick Up The Pieces” – now one of the most recognizable hooks in funk music – and a slew of spectacular cuts, including a cover of the Isley Brothers' “Work To Do” and the smooth groove “Nothing You Can Do.”
“Pick Up the Pieces” and the album AWB reached the tops of the pop and R&B charts in January of 1975, and for the remainder of the decade the group took their killer groove around the world. The late 1970s saw Average White Band release a string of Top 40 hits such as “Person to Person,” “Cut The Cake,” and “Schoolboy Crush.” The original lineup of the six Scotsmen disbanded in 1982, meeting the common demise of their R&B contemporaries who found themselves drowning in the strong tides of the disco and punk rock of the early 80s. In 1989, the band picked up steam again and regrouped around founders Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre, and has toured relentlessly ever since. In the 90s, their music was frequently sought out for sampling by hip hop producers and the band found new resonance among younger audiences and a burgeoning generation of young funk and soul musicians.
In just the last few years, “Pick Up The Pieces” has been given the big band treatment by Phil Collins, turned into a “musical conversation” by comic Chris Rock, lyricized by jazz legend Jon Hendricks, blared habitually at sporting events and used liberally in television ads. The song has also appeared in movies – such titles as Undercover Brother, Swingers, and The People vs. Larry Flint, to name a few. Though perhaps best known for this timeless mega-hit, Average White Band’s strengths actually lie in their ultra-tight musicianship and consistently excellent songwriting stretching across several gold selling albums and myriad Grammy nominations.
Dimirtriou's Jazz Alley
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