1 August 2019

Big Band Scene (Aug. 2019)

     As discussed last month, the disadvantages of outdoor performances made themselves evident again. In mid June, Jazz on The Prom, a new event, sponsored by Brighton Beach Club and the i360, was badly affected by the weather. Early on, the Sussex Jazz Orchestra had to cut their second set short after driving rain made it unsafe to continue. Electronics and water mix very well, but not to human advantage. The remaining, smaller, bands continued under shelter in the i360 building.

     Nevertheless over £2500 was raised for the Starr Trust, which helps young people in Sussex to achieve their potential in art, sport and education. It is to be hoped that the event can continue next year under more favourable conditions.

     The same week-end, high winds caused the Brighton Big Band, with Jackie Sampson, to retreat from Rottingdean terraces to the sanctuary of Rottingdean Village Hall for their gig in memory of the late Dave Adkin. A stalwart of the reed section for many years. 

     As you may know, this band changed its name from The Dave Masters Big Band five years ago, some two decades after Dave moved to Australia. He was back for a brief visit and caught up with those members who were in the band when he was still around.

     Meanwhile, Big Band @The Brunswick on Sunday evenings continues to flourish. Despite the counter attractions of Love Supreme, the Sussex Jazz Orchestra played to a packed and appreciative audience last month. This month there are two: Terry Pack’s Trees and a week later, The Chris Coull Big Band. Next month, Big Band Sounds occupy the slot.  Please note these gigs now start at 8:00 pm with doors open at 7:30. You may have noticed over recent months that the bands mentioned are nearly all based in, or around, Brighton. I would be delighted to receive reports about bands from elsewhere in the county.

Now the public service section.

     The Maestro Big Band, which practices in Newhaven every Thursday evening, 7-9 pm, needs trumpets. Preferably readers, around grade 5 – solos are written, not improvised. The repertoire is standard mainstream big band tunes, Miller, Goodman, Sinatra etc. If you are available, and interested, please contact Paul Boswell, paul@maestronewhaven.co.uk by e-mail in the first instance.

     Angela Smith is a multi-instrumentalist: soprano, alto & tenor saxes, flutes, electronic wind instruments, especially covering trumpet & trombone parts, as well as bass and drums. She would love to play with serious bands. In addition she has started The Angels, an early jazz/Dixie/dance/swing era band.  They rehearse Thursday afternoons in Brighton twice a month. She is keen to hear from any interested musicians, particularly baritone sax or brass players. She can be contacted on 07702 150434  or alh.smith@outlook.com

     Continuing the appeal for help to find parts for incomplete pads here is the final, for now, selection. 

Superstar – In C, (arr. Al Capps) – Piano

When Sunny Gets Blue – In F, (arr. Frank Mantooth)  – Tenor 1, Trombone 3

Why Don’t You Do Right – In F, (arr. Alastair Ross) – Trumpet 1

Will Ye No Come Back Again – in Eb (arr. Steve Gray) – Trumpet 4

Yesterday – in Eb, (arr. Jerry Nowak) – Guitar, Drums.

Yo Soy La Rumba – in Eb, Machito/Guerra – Tenor 1

You Don’t Know What Love Is – In Db, (arr. Glenn Osser) – Trumpet 2, Drums

If you don’t have them as pdf files, or access to a scanner, you can photograph them with a digital camera or mobile phone and send them to me as a jpg or similar file. 

Next month:  Hopefully another band profile, and more news about big bands based in, or appearing in Sussex. 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 September’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Wednesday 14th August. My email address is g8aac@yahoo.co.uk.


If you’d like to go and see a big band perform then check out our listings section. 

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