After five years of playing music together, and being a fixture the first Thursday of every month at The Heidout, The littlejazz Orchestra are hard at work recording their debut album at the Key City Theatre.
“We’ve been meaning to do this for a lot of years,” said founding member, songwriter and trumpet player Dave Ward in between takes. “Finally everyone’s on the same page and we can have a lot of time together, it just all worked out this year.”
As anyone who has played in a band before will know, it can be quite tricky to coordinate time to practice regularly, let alone to take a few days off in a row to record a full-length album with a group of full-time working adults.
“We play once a month,” Ward said, “we don’t really do a whole pile of other gigs — it’s not like we’re touring and hammering these tunes out so it’s a longer process.”
As well as Ward, the band is comprised of Janice Nicli on the bass, Sven Heyde on drums, Graham Barnes on guitar and Evan Bueckert on the keys. In two days of work at the Theatre, they hope to record a full-length LP with eight to ten songs on it, all original material written by Ward.
“They’re jazz tunes, so they’re long tunes, so we’ll see what fits on the album and pick the best ones and I mean there’s lots of material, we can do this again,” he said. “It’s exciting to have a record of all these tunes and it’s ones we’ve been working on and we’ve been playing off and on for three years now.”
Ward comes from a musical family, his father played trombone and he has been playing since he was very young. In college is when he really got into composing and writing music, trying to “get down what I hear in my head.”
The cohesion of the band is crystal clear when watching them record their music; the five musicians bring a wealth of experience into the studio setting and have a great, easygoing dynamic in between cuts. The final product will be a testament to the group’s talent and Ward’s vision.