1 April 2019

Big Band Scene (April 2019)

I try to ensure that all the big band gigs in the county are included in the gig lists each month. Unfortunately, some slip through the net. Having heard about it only the evening before, I was able to attend one such gig recently, which had been confirmed only three days before. The Downsbeat Swing Band, with vocalist Jo Kimber in the atrium of the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham-On-Sea on the afternoon of Saturday 9th March.

This band just meets the criteria for mention in this column. It has seven horns, all saxes, and plays from modified big band charts. As well as the standard fare of Basie, Ellington & Nestico, the programme included charts by local composers Hilary Burt and Paul Busby. Solos were shared among the band members. Altogether a swinging afternoon well spent.

Now for the public service element of the column.

James Dunn is an experienced big band and jazz trumpet player who has recently moved to Brighton. He is looking for a big band/jazz orchestra to play with. If you would like to invite him to join your brass section, his email address is james_dunn1@hotmail.co.uk.

As well as helping find bands for musicians, or musicians for bands, another service this column offers is to try to help complete pads with parts missing.  I last published a list in 2017, intending to update it every six months or so, but other items took precedence, and it has grown considerably since then. I recently gained access to a database of well over 2000 pdf files of big band arrangements, which helped reduce the list somewhat. So please let me know if there are parts missing from your pads. I may be able to help. One complication in tracking down these missing parts is that sometimes they have never existed. For instance, trombones 3 & 4 appear to be absent, but the arrangement is for two trombones only. Which can be seen if the full score is available…

There isn’t space for the whole list, so here, in alphabetical order, is the first part. More to follow in later columns as space permits.

Autumn Leaves – in C minor, (arr. Glover) – Tenor 1

Big Mama – in F, (Steve Parry) – Trumpet 4

(The) Continental – in Eb, (arr. Jimmy Lally) – Trumpet 1

Crablegs – in Eb, (Unknown arranger) – Trombone 2

Dear Heart – in F, (arr. Jimmy Lally) – Bass

Easy Living – in Bb, (Unknown arranger) – Trumpet 2, 3 & 4

From This Moment On – in Db, (arr. Jimmy Lally) – Trombones, Piano

Happy Holiday – in Gb, (arr. Helmy Cresa) – Tenor 1 I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love – in F, (arr. Bob Florence) – Piano, Drums

I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter – in Ab, (arr. Dave Wolpe) – most parts.

If you can assist, the preferred format is pdf. Failing that, please photograph the part, and send it to me as a jpg file. If your band’s library appears to be missing any parts which are not on the database, I will add them to this list for publication in a future column.

Next month: Hopefully another band profile, and more news about big bands based in, or appearing in, the county. If you would like your band featured, and I have not already contacted you, please get in touch. Anything else, such as gig news, or feedback on this column, that you would like me to include in May’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Saturday 13th April. My email address is g8aac@yahoo.co.uk. 

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