John Hulley is a beast. As the leader of the 13-piece, modern jazz-funk orchestra Brunswick, the 24-year old trombonist writes and plays beyond his years. With Brunswick he’s enlisted saxophonist David Hood, trombonist-playing-percussion Reggie Pace and trumpeters Marcus Tenney and Sam Koff from their primary gig with the No BS! Brass band. The group’s organic assimilations of 1970s blaxploitation soundtracks and Gil Evans’ funky big bands can walk upright with the firm backbone needed to convey his deceptively simple arrangements. And that’s what I like best about the group. Its members don’t try to dazzle the listener with music theory — they play to engage the listener, coloring and shaping Hulley’s compositions with a song-first mentality. By taking this approach, his melodies, and not the individual player’s abilities, live in your head long after the band’s stopped playing. Brunswick plays Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Camel. Doors open at 9 p.m. Free. thecamel.org.
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