As promised earlier, please welcome and hear from our new trombonist Richard Nield. If you are still yet to hear Richard play, then you’re in for a treat! Richard’s solos are smooth, lyrical and very clever. We’re all delighted that Richard has joined the band and we’re sure you will be impressed too!
But enough from me; here’s Richard:
Richard Nield at The Brunswick, 5 Feb 2017 (Photo: Neil Garrett)
“I’m new to the Brighton area, having moved here just at the end of 2016 due to the demands of my day job, and was delighted to be asked to join Straight No Chaser!
I’ve been involved with Big Bands seemingly for all of my life — my earliest memory being travelling in the back of a Transit van on the way to gigs being run by my father, Alan. Over the years I’ve played trombone for diverse groups, including the Fat Chops Big Band, Steve King Big Band, The Rat Pack, the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Memphis Belle Orchestra. I’ve been lucky to have performed with Matt Ford, Mark Nightingale, Bobby Shew, Bruce Adams, Pete Cater, Pete Long, John Ruddick, and many others.
I also ran my own Badgers Big Band, which made quite a name for itself around my former home area in Warwickshire.”
Richard Nield plays a smooth solo (Photo: Neil Garrett)
Impressive! Come and hear Richard play with our special guest Mark Bassey on our trombontastic evening this Sunday at The Hassocks (7:30 pm).
“Eyes down” during rehearsal with Mark Bassey (Photo: Ali)
Rehearsing with Mark Bassey for this Sunday’s concert at The Hassocks reminded me on how truly lucky we are at Straight No Chaser to play with Britain’s top players.
Practising with Mark Bassey
You perhaps remember that Mark and his quintet played with us during the 2015 Brighton Fringe, which was definitely one of our high points. Looking back to last year, the sensational Steve Waterman (trumpet) renewed our previous collaboration and entertained us all playing his own arrangements at another first-rate, opening-night Brighton Fringe performance.
Steve Waterman at Brighton Fringe 2016 (Photo: Neil Garrett)
Now, looking ahead to Friday 5 May, world-renowned saxophone/clarinet musician Alan Barnes has kindly agreed to join us to kick-off this year’s Brighton Fringe. Please join us this Sunday with Mark Bassey and book your tickets now to join us with Alan Barnes on Friday 5 May for “Sir Duke: Tribute to Ellington”.
Alan Barnes to play with SNC
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
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.
We had an amazing bit of luck at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival. Sunday morning’s downpour stopped just before we played and not even the tailbacked traffic on the A27 could keep our band from arriving on time.
We played our 45 minute set from 11:15 on Sunday and were delighted to be joined by an unexpected troop of dancers. We appreciate that some of our somewhat eclectic set was a little challenging to dance to, but certainly thank those guys for joining us (picture coming). What is music if not to be enjoyed!
This year’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival seemed even better than the past 2 terrific years. Jazz of every description was available and the organization was fantastic. If you have not yet visited the festival, we highly recommend you keep next July’s weekend free.
Many thanks again to Susanna Alce for singing with us.
We’re now taking a short summer break from public performances. We’ll be playing at Ali’s sister’s wedding later this month (best wishes to the happy couple! Ali plays baritone sax) and we’re booked for the Forest Row music festival on Sunday, 20 September. We’ll be posting our coming gigs on our website’s calender soon. Enjoy summer!
Straight No Chaser are proud to have joined the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity Charleston Event last Saturday night at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel. This was a private function for which we played dance music late into the wee hours. I’ve not yet managed to get a picture of us playing, but this blurred image I took shows us moment before the curtain came up.
Before curtain up at The Metropole
Gary Wright did a terrific job singing the many popular “Sinatra Songs” we know and love.
Gary was also with us at the Abergavenny Arms earlier this month, where we were entertained by the vocal talents of Susanna Alce. We really enjoy playing again at the Abergavenny Arms and hope to be back later this year.
We’re now getting ready for our turn at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival. We’ll be playing on the bandstand at 11:15 on Sunday morning. Great music festival! Hope to see you there.
The band had terrific fun last night and we hope you did too. Thank you for the electric atmosphere at the Brighton Unitarian Church for our Brighton Fringe Concert—made all the more special by our collaboration with the incomparable #Mark_Bassey Quintet.
Straight No Chaser & the Mark Bassey Quintet
Our homage to Count Basie, the “Kid from the Red Bank” (“somewhere near Hassocks?” suggested one band member ) provided variety in entertainment fitting to the great Count’s band: first-rate soloing, musical “conversations” between bands, and Mark’s follicular vocals on “Shiny Stockings”.
The Mark Bassey Quintet
A big thank you to our co-hosts—Mark, Simon Savage, Terry Seabrook, Alex Eberhard and Simon Thorpe—and a special thanks to our Paul Nieman for both organising the evening and charming us with his silky rendition of “The More I See You”.
You can next hear the Straight No Chaser Big Band first at The #Abergavenny_Arms in Rodmell (8:30 on Friday, 5 June) and next at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival (around midday, Sunday). Do also checkout Mark’s website for what he’s up to (don’t miss #100Saxophones back on the steps of the Brighton Unitarian Church). See you soon!
Thanks also to Sam Yeomans for the pictures added to this post—very nice!