Kees Polling
Billy Brooks stirs things up

Fun distinguishes the performance of the Rainbow Peace OrchestraThe greatest big bands stopped existing a long time ago. That is why it’s a pleasant surprise when someone forms his own big bands.

Like trumpeter Billy Brooks. This Amsterdam resident presented the Rainbow Peace Orchestra last Saturday at the BIM-huis.
Not yet on its own course, but because of the fun they have, one could call it a welcome addition.

With the music of his Rainbow Peace Orchestra, Brooks is able to show off his experience, gained in the orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gilespie and Thad Jones.

The great stylistic diversity is gained by his contribution to the music of Tina Turner and The Temptations. With surprising ease the orchestra switches from Latin to fusion and from up-tempo pieces to austere ballads.

Content-wise, it rattled at some points and it wasn’t always pure, but motivation and commitment were undeniably there. According to Brooks, it doesn’t have to be perfect. His Rainbow Peace Orchestra is kind of a learning orchestra.

Most of the musicians are hardly known, although Brooks has managed to commit some well-known musicians like saxophonists Fred Leeflang and Armando Cairo. Furthermore, a few of the number of Fra Fra Sound play along, like Kenneth Helberg, guitarist Patrick Sedoc and percussionist Carlo Ulrichi. Less well-known, but as a soloist just as important, was the input of Bobby Allee, especially his gruesome high notes.

As instrumentalist, Brooks himself has a small role. Once in a while he reaches for his “skoonum horn”, a self-made double-barrel trumpet, just to stir things up. Musicians and audience couldn’t get enough of it.