Continuing our self-introduction from new members to Straight No Chaser, please meet Chris Coull. You may recognise Chris from his past helping out the band, but we’re pleased to announce that he’s agreed to join us. In addition to being a dynamic soloist, Chris also writes music!
Over to Chris:
Chris Coull in smooth mode
“As a trumpeter, I’d say my influences are mostly from Clifford Brown, Miles with a good dose of Freddie Hubbard and even a little Wynton thrown in the mix. I like to think I’m known for my energetic be-bop-styled playing and band leading.
Past excursions have seen me play at Royal Albert Hall, Isle of Wight Festival, Jazz At The Lincoln Center, Appleby Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, to name but a few. As a side-man, I’ve played alongside Alan Barnes, the late great Johnny Dankworth, American heavyweight American sax player Jerry Weldon (from Harry Connick Jnr) and New York pianist Richard Johnson (from Wynton Marsalis’s group).
My latest recordings have included ‘Blues On the Corniche’, arranged with full string section, which has raised over £25,000 for Cancer Research UK, and ‘Jazz from the Sands’ — a sumptuous small group CD of the great American song book.
These are some of the kind comments I’ve had on my playing:”
“Moody and sophisticated, ‘Blues on the Corniche’ is an ambitious, highly skilled album that captures the diverse richness from Chris Coull.”— Grammy award winner Jason Olaine (Jazz at the Lincoln Centre, New York)
“Great sound, and sweet lines, Chris has got the jazz language down!” — Dominick Farinacci (winner of ITG International Jazz Trumpet Competition and 2 gold discs from Swing Journal Magazine)
Chris will again be playing alongside the saxophonist Alan Barnes at our upcoming ‘Sir Duke: Trubute to Ellington’ concert during the Brighton Fringe (5 May). Click on the date to get your ticket.
Chris is away for this Sunday’s Buddy Rich concert at The Brunswick (7:30 pm), but find out more about Chris on his website www.dohajazz.com.
Energetic Chris Coull (Photos: Neil Garrett)
Here’s an image from last night’s Straight No Chaser rehearsal for this Sunday’s return to Buddy Rich concert — organised and featuring our very own Noel Joyce!
Noel Joyce doing his “Buddy Rich” thing
You may remember our last performance of the music from Buddy Rich’s band — but do you know that was back in February 2015. Wow! How time flys.
Well, we can’t keep great music just to ourselves, so this Sunday we again become the Buddy Rich Band for you at The Brunswick, Hove — kicking off with a cymbal crash or two at 7:30 pm.
Got your tickets yet for our Brighton Fringe gigs? Please don’t miss our tribute to Duke Ellington with the great Alan Barnes (Friday, 5 May) or our Lindy Hop dance afternoon in the Spiegel Tent (Saturday, 20 May). Tickets are selling! (Click on the dates to get yours)
Noel Joyce at The Brunswick
Great again to see so many friendly faces at The Brunswick last month! If you missed us, we played Simon D’souza’s music from the Navigation CD as well as a few select favourites.
Straight No Chaser at The Bruswick, Hove, 5 Feb 2017
The more observant of you will notice that we have a few new faces in the band (many thanks to Neil Garrett for the photographs). The Straight No Chaser Big Band continues to have a stable membership, though sadly some of our players have elected to stand-back from “front line” duty due to their other commitments. They will all be back from time-to-time, but we now have some new players to welcome!
Watch this Blog for brief introductions to the “new guys” (I have the first ready and waiting). Before I begin, I apologise for not writing for so long (almost a year – I can’t believe it!). I will endeavour to fill in some gaps and tell you about our up-coming activities for the Brighton Festival Fringe.
Our next gig is at The Hassocks this coming Sunday (7:30 start) with our very special guest, Mark Bassey, on trombone. We’ll be re-visiting the music of Count Basie, which is always popular with us! I hope to see you there – free gig (we’ll just pass around the hat).
The fabulous Mr Mark Bassey
Roll up! Roll up! Book your tickets without delay to hear jazz trumpet ace Steve Waterman again join Straight No Chaser in an extra special concert on the opening night of Brighton Festival on Friday, 6 May (that’s next week!).
We’re playing at the Brighton Unitarian Church (same road as the Theatre Royal) starting at 8 pm. The theme is rather appropriately “Kings of the Jazz Trumpet” and includes music written/arranged by Steve himself in tribute to the trumpet greats through the ages. Limited tickets are still available from the Brighton Festival Box Office.
We are delighted that Steve is joining us. Hopefully, you joined us last year for Fun Time, our homage to Count Basie with our special guests Mark Bassey and his quintet. Trombonist Mark Bassey again joined us earlier this year on 21 February at The Hassocks (without his quintet) for a thoroughly entertaining Sunday evening showcasing a selection of his other compositions/arrangements, generously featuring some of our own jazz solists as well as Mark’s masterfully weaved improvisations. Thanks Mark!
Did you hear us pay homage to Thad Jones on Sunday, 3 April at The Brunswick, Hove? What a terrific concert that was! I’m sure any member of the band freely admitted that the music was challenging to play in places, but we were all delighted with the result. A huge thank you to our trumpeter Martijn Van Galen who loaned us the charts and rehearsed and directed us through them. I am sure we will be playing through these again soon!
Martijn Van Galen
One last plug, we will be joining with our friends at “Sunday in the Park with Jazz” on 5 June (from 1 pm onwards) at the Brighton Open Air Theatre (B.O.A.T.), Dyke Road (just up from BHASVIC). Lots planned for this event, so let’s hope for good weather and we hope to see you there!
Straight No Chaser are playing at the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell tomorrow evening (start at 8 pm). Great to be back at the Abergavenny Arms again – June was our last visit – and a few of us will be arriving early for a nice meal before playing.
Importantly, we’ll be collecting for the charities our fabulous friend Simon D’souza wanted to support. These include The Brain Tumor Charity, a cause for which you may have heard in the news could do with a boost! We will be playing lots of swing favorites and joined by both Gary Wright and Susanna Alce on vocals. See you tomorrow.
A quick round-up of our recent back-to-back gigs at The Bruswick:
- Great to see so many of you for our New Year gig on 3 January, when we played Simon’s Navigation Suite – as popular with us to play as this is for you. Thanks again to Abi Flynn for joining us for some vocal numbers.
- On 29 November, you would have noticed that Susanna Alce sang with us (and not Abi, as advertised). Many thanks to Susanna for stepping in and again performing so well on vocals after Abi unfortunately (but understandably) needed to step down.
I’ve been asked when we will next be playing at The Hassocks Hotel. This will be Sunday, 21 February (in just 2 weeks) and we’ll be joined by our very special guest soloist Mark Bassey on trombone.
Go to hear this professsional band today at The Hawth, Crawley if you can, though I think this may be a sellout. Trombonist Gordon Campbell will pay tribute to Tommy Dorsey and he also has the excellent singer Matthew Ford (you’ll recognize him from The John Wilson Orchestra).
If you go, please remind your friends that the #StraightNoChaserBigBand will be at The Hassocks Hotel (12 April) and The Brunswick (29 April) this coming month! Enjoy the music.
We probably won’t get to hear Gordon Campbell ourselves — we had a private event today that has unfortunately been postponed (more about this later).
Reviews & Recommendations
So here goes. The first in what we hope will become a regular feature on the Blog. Three categories: Something old, Something new and a Guilty Pleasure. I’ll offer up the first three brief reviews/recommendations in the hope that others will comment and/or offer a fresh set of choices.
The three albums by the big band ‘Loose Tubes’: Loose Tubes (1985), Delightful Precipice (1986), Open Letter (1988).
Hadn’t listened to the albums for 15+ years but was instantly back to the 80s and the excitement of their live sets. Outside the box – yes. Hit and miss – yes. Humorous – yes. A little birdie told me that all three are available to download (free/illegally?) online so it‘s worth a search.
Check out the fascinating Wikipedia entry. I was unaware of the tensions with the Jazz Warriors.
The Avatar Sessions (2010)
Featuring Tim Hagans, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Randy Brecker, Rufus Reid and the Norrbotten Big Band.
Need I say more?
Music is by Tim Hagans. I’ve been in touch with Tim and once he’s “tidied up” the parts to the album track ‘Boo’ I’ll be getting a copy for Straight No Chaser. Thinking of Peter Erskine; I saw him and the Brecker Brothers live with Don Grolnick – greatest drumming I’ve ever heard. Check out the two of Don’s albums they all did together for Blue Note: Weaver of Dreams (1989) & Nighttown (1992) – just perfect.
Sinatra’s last solo album: L.A. is My Lady (1984)
Quincy and the crème de la crème of session musicians.
You can’t beat a bit of Frank.