The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes back funk and soul masters the Average White Band. Band members are Fred Vigdor (keys), Alan Gorrie (bass), Onnie McIntyre (guitar), Brent Carter (vocals), Rob Aries (bass and keys) and Rocky Bryant (drums). Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30PM. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM and 9:30PM. Doors open at 6:00PM Thursday and 5:30PM Friday – Sunday.
Tickets available HERE
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.”
Though best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ the band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi- Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six piece took the influences of their R&B; heroes – people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others – and developed their own ‘authentic’ sound which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the US and elsewhere. While a good number of cuts – ‘Cut The Cake’ and ‘Let’s Go Round Again’- became hit singles, many other album tracks, like ‘Schoolboy Crush’ and ‘Stop The Rain’ became much sampled grooves. Many more tunes, such as ‘Cloudy’, and ‘A Love Of Your Own’- amongst many others- stand alongside some of the finest soul ‘album tracks’ ever recorded.
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. www.averagewhiteband.com