September 29, 2023
BT ALC Big Band with VERY special guest, Fred Wesley
150 Corporate Park Dr, Pembroke, MA, 02359
Date & Time
Friday, September 29, 2023
150 Corporate Park Dr, Pembroke, MA, 02359
About Fred Wesley
During the 1960s and 1970s, Fred Wesley was a pivotal member of James Brown's bands, playing on many hit recordings including "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," "Mother Popcorn" and co-writing tunes such as "Hot Pants." His slippery riffs and pungent, precise solos, complementing those of saxophonist Maceo Parker, gave Brown's R&B, soul, and funk tunes their instrumental punch. In the 1970s he also served as band leader and musical director of Brown's band the J.B.'s and did much of the composing and arranging for the group. He left Brown's band in 1975 and spent several years playing with George Clinton's various Parliament-Funkadelic projects, even recording a couple of albums as the leader of a spin-off group, The Horny Horns.
Wesley's 35-year career includes playing with and arranging for a wide variety of other artists including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Randy Crawford, Vanessa Williams, The SOS Band, Cameo, Van Morrison, Socalled and rappers De La Soul, to name a few. Many other artists have sampled his work. In 2002 Wesley wrote Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman, an autobiography about his life as a sideman. Also in 2002 he recorded an album entitled Wuda Cuda Shuda.
About BT ALC
Since the group's formation in 2011, BT ALC Big Band, led by trombonist Brian Thomas and trumpeter Alex Lee-Clark, have gained a reputation for hard grooving original compositions featuring a rotating collective of some of the most virtuosic, soulful and funky musicians in Boston. The band draws from the big band traditions established by American icons like Duke Ellington and Count Basie infused with grooves inspired by the likes of James Brown, The Meters, Fela Kuti and A Tribe Called Quest, creating an undeniably unique sound and a mind blowing live show experience.
In 2020, BT ALC Big Band, in partnership with Soulive drummer, Vintage League Music founder and studio wiz Alan Evans, began working on the album Hearing The Truth, slated to be released on Vintage League Music on April 14, 2023. Rhythm section tracks were recorded at Evans’ Iron Wax Studios in Western Massachusetts while horn players individually recorded their parts remotely while abiding by the social distant protocols of the time. This recording formula manifested three singles released in 2020 stacked full of special guests; Bring Forth Change (feat: Nigel Hall and Eric “Benny” Bloom), The Iguana (feat: Eric Krasno and Karl Denson) and What Will You Do (feat: John Medeski). In 2022, the horn sections were able to gather in person at Chillhouse Studios in Boston to finish the remaining six tunes for the album. Additional guests include Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch playing on a big band arrangement of his tune Egyptian Secrets and a collaboration with vocalist G. Love on a hip hop tune called That Sound.
Hearing The Truth follows BT ALC Big Band’s previous 4 albums; The Search For Peace (2019, Ropeadope Records), The Herd Sessions Vol. 2 (2016), The Herd Sessions Vol. 1 (2016) and Superhero Dance Party (2013).
In addition to recording, performing at clubs, theaters and festivals, BT ALC Big Band demonstrates their commitment to education through clinics, workshops and performances with students throughout New England. Their compositions are available for purchase at btalc.com, and have been performed by college and high school jazz ensembles including West Virginia University, UMASS Amherst, Ithaca College, and honor bands in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland.
BT ALC Big Band continues to push the art of the big band forward by utilizing a process that’s been followed by musicians for years: play the music you love, just in your own way.
Tucker Antell - alto sax
Pete Levesque - alto sax
Mike Tucker - tenor sax
Dino Govoni - tenor sax
Ben Whiting - bari sax
Bijon Watson - trumpet
Alex Lee-Clark - trumpet
Mark Berney - trumpet
Doug Olsen - trumpet
Ben Griffin - trombone
Brian Thomas - trombone
Clayton DeWalt - trombone
Rob Krahn - trombone
Jeffrey Lockhart - guitar
Dean “The Dux” Johnston - drums
Sam Gilman - keyboards
Steve Fell - guitar
Nate Edgar - bass
Yahuba Garcia-Torres - percussion