Mark Harvey and Aardvark featured in Downbeat

Aardvark Turns 40
Posted 11/12/2012

An aardvark may be a snouted, big-eared African nocturnal marsupial, but it’s also a hearty Boston big band that, at 40, cops laurels as New England’s oldest and steadiest, its 18 members’ average tenure topping 25 years.

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra welcomed decade No. 5 in front of a packed house at Boston landmark Scullers Lounge. Aardvark Musical Director and founder Mark Harvey typically calls a mixed set: This time, it’s standards for the band’s two vocalists, a local seasonal nod (“Early Autumn” written by Newton’s Ralph Burns for Woody Herman) and pointed political satire (“Rascals & Scoundrels”). An exuberant blues à la vocalist Slim Gaillard celebrated Aardvark’s unique genus, placing it, in Duke Ellington’s phrase, “beyond category.” Shedding a sometimes raggedy molt, the group was in sleek form, belting crisp ensembles and uproarious, semi-disciplined raves.  READ MORE…

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