With the renewal of interest
in music of the Swing and Big Band Era, The Bob Boyd Sounds, David,
Randy, Sim and Bob, are having the time of their lives
playing and singing songs from the thirties through the nineties. Word has
gotten around that these four guys will knock you out when they play music
of the big bands. (They currently have more than 40 engagements on their
calendar.) All four of them sing, solo and in harmony, music from Sinatra,
the Four Freshmen and the Modernaires, to Stevie Wonder!
They play smooth, listenable jazz, if you can manage to keep your feet still.
But when they play, unlike much jazz, in their music you can always recognize
the melody! |
lyrical bass playing (he plays both the old-style standup bass fiddle AND
an Alembic Fretless Electric Bass) and his beautiful tenor voice provide
the lead for many of their songs, whether they are punching out an Ellington
tune or a lovely ballad like "A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square",
or an old blues tune from Otis Redding. Randy McDonald, drummer
extraordinary, also plays piano and bass, is a computer expert and a recording
engineer, sings background harmony, and if that isn't enough, sings a mean
country ballad or lively pop tune. Bob Boyd, who classifies himself
as a "piano stylist" rather than a jazz pianist, plays a variety
of piano styles and enjoys singing, too. And of course there's our newest
member, Sim Flora, who is outstanding on trombone, flute, and vocals.
says, "It's such a joy for me to work with David Higginbotham,
Randy McDonald and Sim Flora. David, Randy and
I formed the Trio almost 10 years ago. David Higginbotham
plays upright bass, plays guitar in our mariachi and Italian groups, and
sings lead beautifully. He is a superb music director and a very gifted
plays drums and sings in the group. He also doubles piano and bass, is a
master sound recording engineer at Zanbeck Studios, is a computer
expert and is a gifted songwriter. In addition to a busy calendar of private
parties, we played at the Unity Church every sunday for 6 years and
produced an album of original inspirational music, The Unity Trio.
Dr. Sim Flora has
been a member of the Bob Boyd Sounds for many years. He and Pat Henry
were dear friends. Pat has gone home to play in Gods
orchestra, Sim has become the newest full-time member of the Sounds.
world class trombone and flute player, is retired Professor of Theory and
Composition at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
After college Sim taught public school in the St. Louis area, worked
as a free-lance trombonist, and served as musical director at Six Flags
Over Mid-America. He left St Louis to pursue more education and began
his 24-year tenure at Ouachita after completing a doctorate at The
University of Oklahoma. His recording project, Sound Doctrine
features many of our beloved hymn tunes arranged and played by Sim in big-band
style, with Sounds members Randy, David and Bob providing the rhythm
"All 4 of us are bandleaders
in our own right. But the sum is greater than the parts. We have played
together so much that we can anticipate each others every move, every note.
The joy in playing I first had is back! I enjoy writing vocal arrangements
for us. I look forward to every concert, to every tune. Sometimes all our
new ideas just tumble over each other in exuberance. Jazz began as fun music
and we have put the fun back into it.
"Everyone tends to
want to classify or pigeonhole a band as playing a particular style of music.
So far, we have successfully resisted that. We have presented Dixieland,
Cajun, Polka, Mariachi, Italian, Irish
and Western Swing-style band shows. But most of the time,
we play a mix of popular standards, swing and popular jazz from all the
decades. All four of us sing lead on some tunes, and we present many tunes
in 4 part harmony, a la the Four Freshmen ('Its A Blue World')
or Manhattan Transfer ('Tuxedo Junction.')"