THE NEW YORKER
“Hopkins writes swinging material tailor made for a vacuum tube radio…”
NEW YORK TIMES
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“At Minton's, you're part of the choir. There's this part in "Moanin'" where—not in the original version but in this one, arranged by JC Hopkins and which his band, JC Hopkins' Biggish Band, plays—the horn section shouts out, call-and-response style. This night, we get in on it, too. Bum be de BOMP. HEY! Be dop bop be da BOMP. HEY! Bum be de BOMP. HEY! And it's not anger any longer, but joy.”
"Minton’s, reopened in 2013, was full and thriving in the current boom, and the house band that night was JC Hopkins’ Biggish Band… So with Hopkins at the piano, the band swung and bopped behind three wonderful vocalists through the Billie Holiday songbook, including superb readings of “God Bless the Child” and “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”. Music created in another age that remains as affecting today must be regarded as serious art, and that was what I heard at Minton’s that night."
WALL STREET JOURNAL - WILL FRIEDWALD
“The birthplace of bebop, Minton's on 118th Street, has been reborn as a venue that is as classy as it is historic. The long-neglected room has now been remodeled into one of the most attractive venues in the city, with a menu that puts most Midtown clubs to shame. The combination of pianist-bandleader JC Hopkins and band expertly recapture the vitality and energy of Harlem jazz and blues of 70 years ago without slavishly imitating anyone and are thus a perfect fit.”
Press for New York Moment免费shadowsock二维码
This is a splendid addition to the very rich big-band tradition, one that carries it into the present. New York-based pianist Hopkins has been swinging in various Big Apple clubs for nearly 20 years, including its current Saturday night residency at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. This third Biggish Band CD showcases his 11-piece band plus five singers performing 10 original tunes plus a mid-disc instrumental cover of Charles Mingus’ “Better Git It in Your Soul” that features alto saxophonist Julian Pressley. Jazz Notes - Ken Franckling
From the moment the first track of this album begins, I am completely on board. There is joy to the playing, to the singing. The album swings and pops on some tracks, warms us on others, and what is more, it features mostly original material, written or co-written by pianist J.C. Hopkins. Music Log - Michael Doherty
All About Jazz - review of JC Hopkins Biggish Band (excerpt) - "Meet Me at Minton's" - James Nadal
All of the selections feature outstanding vocalists that are perfectly cast for the specific song. The gifted Brianna Thomas begins the show with "Remember When," a Hopkins original that establishes the mood and direction of the record. Thomas repeats on the lovely "Meant To Be," and the up-tempo standard "Them There Eyes." Acknowledging a major bebop influence on jazz, and house pianist at Minton's, the Thelonious Monk masterpiece "Suddenly (In Walked Bud)" brings in the inventor of jazz vocalese, Jon Hendricks, who at 96 years, is still a force to be reckoned with. On this tune, Hendricks does his signature scatting, backing vocalists joining in to stir up the excitement...
It would take several pages of writing to give due credit to the fabulous musicians in the band, who not only play as a cohesive ensemble, but take their solo spots with accurate professionalism and zest. On his original compositions, as well as the covered standards, Hopkins and accompanists replicate the desired music down to the minute musical detail, the vocalists introducing the allure and presence that is needed for the complete experience. For those who were not around during the swinging heyday of the Harlem jazz bands, this is as close and real as it gets.
J.C. Hopkins is a Grammy nominated songwriter, producer and leader of the world renowned J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band. The Biggish Band has featured some of the most important vocalists in the history of modern music including Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, Jon Hendricks, Andy Bey, Jazzmeia Horn, Madeleine Peyroux and many more.
As a songwriter his compositions have been covered by many artists including Willie Nelson and Norah Jones who recorded his song “Dreams Come True” which was nominated for a Grammy. He has produced a number of albums including the Grammy nominated childrens album of Tin Pan Alley songs, “Sunny Side of the Street” for actor John Lithgow.
Hopkins’ screenplay “Poets Are The Destroyers” was made into a feature film set to be released in the Fall of 2020. www.poetsarethedestroyers.nyc
He has published three books of poetry and his jazz-noir novel “The Perfect Fourth” is published by Noir Nation.
One of Those Days is an original composition written by JC Hopkins and Melody Federer, recorded by the JC Hopkins Biggish Band and sung by Vanisha Gould. The song is a composite of those New York Moments that tests ones fortitude, much like the way our fortitude is being tested right now. The video for the song features scenes from the soon to be release feature film "Poets Are The Destroyers" for whom JC wrote the screenplay. The footage of Vanisha singing was shot at Minton's Playhouse where the band has a weekly Saturday residency.
Beguiled is a song that JC wrote about two people who are secretly in love with each other, or maybe not so secretly, and that sensation of physical attraction that can take total possession of someone. And yet, having been burned in the past the singers are suspicious of the thing. It is sung by Joy Hanson and Nico Sarbanes who do a fabulous job of putting the lyrics across. They worked out some terrific harmonies as well; they are both fantastically talented musicians. Drew Vandewinckel, the band’s tenor saxophonist did the arrangement. The arrangement has elements of bebop and Billy May and Julian Pressley takes a lively solo, eschewing cliches, coming up with an individualistic sound that is in the moment. The video was made by Chris Carlone and shot at Minton's Harlem.
A Night at Minton’s is a trailer for an idea for a film about the Biggish Band’s weekly residency at the legendary Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem.
78 East 2nd Street #3
Brooklyn, NY 11218