Big Band Scene (Sept. 2017)

Patrick Billingham looks at Super Sunday, co-operation and competition.

    In late July I posted ‘Super Sunday – 13th August. Find out more in the Sussex Jazz Magazine – out soon’ on a Facebook page.  Referring to four separate big band gigs across the county on that day.  All around the same time in the afternoon, so it would not have been possible to have attended more than one without missing at least one set at each.

A glance at the gig list below shows that we have another Super Sunday on the 3rd of this month. This time it should be possible, at a pinch, to attend three as they are spread from lunchtime in Hurstmonceux to this month’s Big Band@Brunswick in the evening featuring Terry Pack’s magnificent Trees.

    The Facebook group in question is Big Bands Of Brighton.  Set up as a group for sharing information about the monthly big band gigs at The Brunswick as well as other jazz big band gigs around Brighton. With the request ‘only posts related to swing and jazz big bands in the local area’. Judging by the posts, ‘local’ is open to interpretation.

    I want to emphasise that this column and Big Bands Of Brighton are not in competition. I mention the group in a spirit of co-operation. As with the individual bands’ Facebook pages, the posts provide more details about upcoming gigs than this column can usually manage.  Also more up to date information, especially last minute cancellations, that comes to light after the SJM has gone to press.  I mention the magazine in posts to the various groups to raise awareness of our existence, and hopefully, to recruit to the well informed Sussex jazz community.

    Clearly, in the context of big bands, co-operation is preferable to competition.  Especially as the ideal is a smooth balanced performance. Rather than everyone competing to play louder than everyone else.  Even the so-called battles between soloists may appear to be competitive, but need a measure of co-operation to ensure that the excitement is increased, with each soloist raising their game, rather than becoming one sided and ending in anti-climax.

This is not to say that there is no place for competition in the big band scene. For example, suppose you wished to set up a big band to perform at the highest level and to command professional fees.  The first step, apart from approaching particular musicians, in forming the band is to hold competitive auditions.

    Outside the big band scene, competition is an essential element in many sports, although co-operation within teams is also essential.  We are told that the motive behind the selling off publicly owned services to the private sector is to introduce competition and hence efficiency and customer satisfaction.  Rail passengers, sorry, customers, in Sussex might not agree.  I can’t help wondering why we can’t choose which of, say, Virgin, Deutschebahn, SNCF as well as GoVia Thameslink trains, all timetabled each day, to give an adequate service.  

 

    There was only one response to my harmless diversion in last month’s column to compare and contrast two short extracts of music and perhaps even identify at least one.  And that response was not totally accurate.  Although B was correctly identified as the earlier one.  Before I reveal all in next month’s column, I give you a clue.  Listen to the piano fills after the trumpet solo, from about 2:48 to 2:53 in what I believe is the original recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujCe_W8eRMg. If you find them not very clear, then try this more recent recording by another band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuNaij7pBaE from about 2:53 to 2:58 where the fills are clearer.  Do they suggest the melody in extract A? Your ideas and comments to me, please, at my email address below.

 

    As well as co-operation and competition, there is confrontation.  Let us hope that the current confrontation between those two heads of state in need of the attentions of competent coiffeurs ends in an outbreak of common sense. And that we shall still be around next month. In which case, more news and views, and hopefully, another 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, photographs, or feedback on this column, that you would like me to include in October’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Sunday 24th September. My email address is, as ever, g8aac@yahoo.co.uk.

 

Big Band Gigs

September – early October

 † a regular monthly gig

bold italics part of a regular series

 

Saturday 2nd September

10:00 am – 12:00 noon, The Wacky Band at St Michael’s Hospice Summer Fair, 25 Upper Maze Hill, Saint Leonards, East Sussex TN38 0LB.  (01424 445177). 50p entrance fee to the Fair.

 

Sunday 3rd September

†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.

2:00 – 4:00 pm, The Brighton Big Band at the Pavilion Gardens, New Road Brighton, BN1 1 UG (01273 730712), weather permitting.  Free entry.

3:00 – 5:00 pm, Big Band Sounds at The Roebuck Inn, Lewes Road, Laughton, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6BG, (01323 811081).   Free entry.

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

Wednesday 6th September

†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.)

 

Thursday 7th September

†7:30 pm, The Maestro Big Band with Nicki Day at the Hope Inn, West Pier, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DN (01273 515389).  Free entry  

 

Sunday 10th September

†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. 

 

Tuesday 12th September

†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 17th September

1:00 – 3:00 pm, The Hurst Festival: The Downsbeat Swing Band on the village green, High Street, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex BN6. Free entry.

1:00 – 4:00 pm, Hailsham Festival of Arts & Culture: Big Band Sunday Luncheon with The South Coast Big Band in Chapter 12 Bar and Kitchen, 12, High Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1BJ (01323 351898). Free entry.

1:45 – 2:30 & 3:15 – 4:00 pm, The Maestro Big Band, at Battle of Britain Day, Newhaven Fort, Fort Road, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DS (01273 517622).   £7.50/£5.95/£4.95 etc. Families £19.95.

 

Friday 29th September

†8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band at Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, Brighton BN1 8TA, £5.  For further details contact Steve (01273 509631) steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk (Bring your own refreshments.)

 

 

 

Sunday 1st October

†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.

3:00 – 5:00 pm, The Sussex Jazz Orchestra with Mark Bassey at The Roebuck Inn, Lewes Road, Laughton, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6BG, (01323 811081).   Free entry.

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

 

Wednesday 4th October

†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.)

 

Thursday 5th October

†7:30 pm, The Maestro Big Band with Nicki Day at the Hope Inn, West Pier, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DN (01273 515389).  Free entry  

 

Photo: Mark Bassey and The Sussex Jazz Orchestra at the Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, Sunday 13th August; photo: Bob Smale.


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