Big Band Scene (Feb. 2017)

This month Patrick Billingham gives listings for the Big Band at The Brunswick series and and reviews a recent concert by The New World Orchestra.

    Hail to the chief!  Congratulations to the new democratically elected leader of the free world.  Even if there are rumours that public disrespect of the president is to become a federal, and thus extraditable, offence.

    Back to domestic matters.  After last month’s hiatus, the Big Band @Brunswick programme is up and running with bands booked for the rest of 2017.

The schedule is :-

February 5th: Straight No Chaser,

March 5th: Big Band Sounds,

April 2nd: Straight No Chaser,

May 7th: Terry Pack’s Trees,

June 4th: Studio 9 Orchestra,

July 2nd: The Brighton Big Band,

August 6th: The Chris Coull Big Band,

September 3rd: Terry Pack’s Trees,

October 1st: Straight No Chaser,

November 12th: The One World Orchestra,

December 3rd: The Brighton Big Band.

    

    All, except November, are on the first Sunday of the month, 7:30 pm start, free admission with collection.

    In case anyone suspects that some bands get more than their fair share, this is not so.  Other bands’ organisers, including me, didn’t get their requests for dates submitted on time.  If you hadn’t known about this, and would like to be kept informed, then you should join the Big Bands Of Brighton public group on Facebook.

The One World Jazz Orchestra:

    Formerly the Paul Busby Big Band played its debut gig at The Unitarian Church in New Road, Brighton on January 27th under the musical direction of Paul Nieman playing a selection from Paul Busby’s Brighton Suite.

    The music played was an eclectic mix demonstrating the Busby mastery of wide variety of musical styles, and, of course, his wit and humour combined with strong melodic lines. Solos were distributed throughout the band.

    The first set consisted of Churchill Square Dance, Volk’s Song, The Omnibus Edition (a tribute to Brighton & Hove buses), Vied AC (a neolithic causewayed enclosure predating Stonehenge by about 1000 years and located at Whitehawk), 1514 (referring to the French Navy’s assault on Brighton), Eau de Toilette (dedicated to the melodic sounds produced by a faulty cistern in the gents at a large hotel) and A Knight at St. Nicks, referring to an alleged haunting in St. Nichols churchyard.  This latter had an eerie atmospheric opening with flute, clarinet and soprano sax, building up before developing into a decidedly funky section involving guitar, bass and drums in a dialogue with the rest of the ensemble, and at one point a bass solo with Terry Pack demonstrating his favourite things.

    The second set started with La Mayor, beginning with a flügel feature sensitively played by newcomer to the band, Martin Bradley, followed by Dave Macari on bass trombone then some guitar and bass jazz.  Next Pavilion, 1703 (the year of a great storm) with an unaccompanied solo by Chris Coull, Martha Gunn, Absent Friends a reflective tribute to former band members, Robert Whittle, Dave O’Flynn, Simon D’Souza and Ian Price.  The final number, I’m Just Wild about Busby ( a tribute to architects Amon Wilds and Sir Paul Busby), had several solos including Tarik Mecci on trombone initially unaccompanied then in a duet with David Beebee on keyboard.

    The encore was a reprise of The Omnibus Edition, which, after a couple of false starts, got under way to conclude a great evening’s entertainment for a disappointingly small, but discerning and appreciative, audience. Which, nevertheless did outnumber the band.

    This concert was a fundraiser to do something for the growing population of disenfranchised people living on the streets in Brighton.  A percentage of the money from the ticket sales to the charity Justlife Brighton (www.justlife.org.uk)

    The One World Jazz Orchestra:

Reeds:  Phil Paton (alto, clarinet), Ali Helsby (alto, clarinet), Brendan Kelly (tenor, soprano), Beccy Rork (tenor, soprano); trumpets & flügels:  Jon Brown, Chris Coull, Bob Turner, Martin Bradley; trombones: Paul Nieman, Tarik Mecci, Sam Dorrell, Dave Macari; rhythm:  David Beebee (keys), Jerry Dearden (guitar), Terry Pack (bass), Noel Joyce (drums). 

 

Next month:  Hopefully news and a band profile.  If you would like your band featured, and I have not already contacted you, please get in touch.  Or if there is anything else, such as gig news, or feedback on this column, that you would like me to include in March’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Thursday February 23rd.  My email address is g8aac@yahoo.co.uk. 

 

Big Band Gigs

February – early March

 † a regular monthly gig

bold italics part of a regular series

 

Wednesday 1st February

†8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)

 

Sunday 5th February 

†12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry. 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: Straight No Chaser at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.

 

Tuesday 7th February

†8:00 – 10:30 pm, The Ronnie Smith Big Band at The Humming Bird Restaurant, Main Terminal Building, Shoreham Airport, West Sussex,  BN43 5FF (01273 452300).  Free entry with collection.

 

Sunday 12th February

†12:00 – 3:00 pm, Groovin’ High Big Band at the Ravenswood Country House Inn, Horsted Lane, Sharpethorne, West Sussex RH19 4HY, (01342 810216).   Free entry. 

 

Thursday 23rd February

2:30 pm, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra at The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112, Seaside Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3PF (01323 412000). £22.55.

 

Friday 24th February

8:00 pm, The South Coast Big Band with Georgie Collinson, Basie and Beyond, at The Underground Theatre, beneath the Central Library, Grove Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4TL (08432 891980).  £12/£11. (Doors open 7:30).

†8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band (Family & Friends evening) in Patcham, BN1, £5.  For further details contact Steve (01273 509631) steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk (Bring your own refreshments.)

 

Saturday 25th February

7:00 – 10:30 pm, The Sussex Universities Big Band at The Laughing Dog, 31, Marina Square, Waterfront, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA, (07505 458773). £5.  

 

Sunday 26th February

†12:30 – 3:00 pm, The South Coast Big Band at The Junction Tavern, 99 Station Road, Polegate, East Sussex BN24 6EB (01323 482010).   Free entry.

7:00 – 9:00 pm, The Sussex Jazz Orchestra with Mark Bassey at The Round Georges, 14-15 Sutherland Road, Brighton BN2 0EQ, (01273 691833).   Free entry with collection. 

 

Wednesday 1st March

†8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)

 

Friday 3rd March

8:30 pm, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra at the Capitol Theatre, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1RG (01403 750220).  £21.50

Saturday 4th March

7:00 pm, The Milestone Big Band ‘Strictly’ Dance Night at The Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1JF (02035 645225).   £tba. 

 

Sunday 5th March

†12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry. 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: Big Band Sounds at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.