Calgary

Calgary's Prime Time Big Band to record album live off floor at Ironwood

The director of the Prime Time Big Band says this will be the first time in the last 40 years that a big band has recorded an entire CD in front of live audience.

‘It’s history in the making,’ says director of 20-piece ensemble

The youngest member of Calgary's Prime Time Big Band is 23. The oldest is 81. (Falice Chin/CBC)

A group of 20 musicians are attempting to record an entire album live off the floor of a Calgary music club this week.

And they only have three shots to get it right.

"We're praying that the phone doesn't ring too often and nobody drops a glass, 'cause they'll be noise and that will be on the recording," said Prime Time Big Band bandleader, David Jones.

Jones knows of no other big band "in the last 40 years" who has taken on this kind of challenge.

"It's history in the making," he said.

"It's way, way tougher than sitting in a studio, because (in studio) you can take, many, many takes for the same piece."

Director David Jones says the band's upcoming live album is being funded by donations from its "great, loyal fan base." (Falice Chin/CBC)

The ensemble features four trombones, five trumpets, five saxophones, one vocalist and a four-piece rhythm section.

The youngest member is 23. The oldest is 81.

Jones said the band's upcoming live album is being funded by donations from its "great, loyal fan base," who also footed the $168,000 bill to cover their last studio recording at the Banff Centre

Calgarians have three opportunities to watch and hear the Prime Time Big Band record their new CD at the Ironwood Stage & Grill this week:

  • Thursday, Nov. 3 from 8 to 11 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 4 from 8 to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Reservations are highly recommended and loud, boisterous clapping is encouraged.


With files from the CBC's Falice Chin and the Calgary Eyeopener

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