23 December 2013

Live Review: Straight No Chaser Big Band at The Brunswick

Straight No Chaser Big Band

The Brunswick, Hove

Sunday 8th December, 2013


    When Louis Armstrong returned to his hometown of New Orleans after becoming a star, he was nervous that people wouldn’t want to see him as he hadn’t been back there for many years. But when he arrived at the train station, he was unable to get off the train because so many people (and at least four marching bands) had gathered at the train station to welcome him back.

    I was reminded of this story when I arrived at The Brunswick on a day that celebrated the compositions of Simon d’Souza. This was probably the fullest jazz gig at The Brunswick this year, with some people being turned away due to overcrowding and others standing in the doorway or sitting on the floor.

    This was an emotional evening for Simon d’Souza’s family, and for his legion of friends and fans. But it was also an evening filled with Simon’s trademark humour, such as In Remission Riff, composed as a nod to Stan Kenton.

    And after hearing Simon’s beautiful solo on Giving Peace there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

    Copies of the CD Navigation (with proceeds going to charity) are available here:



Charlie Anderson


Straight No Chaser Big Band:

Saxes & Reeds: Jim Cheek, Ali Helsby, Alex Bondonno, Simon d’Souza, Russ Holdsworth, Chris Peryagh; Trumpets: Nick Trish, Jon Brown, Martijn van Galen, Bob Turner, Peter Bryan; Trombones: Tim Wade, Paul Nieman, Dave Macari, Nick Brion; Rhythm Section: Dave Beebee, piano; Sam Arts, guitar; Marianne Windham, double bass; Noel Joyce, drums.

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