Sussex Jazz Orchestra
The Latest Music Bar
Tuesday 23rd November
Tonight's event was held in the downstairs theatre of the Latest Music Bar, formally known as the Joogleberry. Under candlelight the venue offers a pleasant atmosphere perfect for tonights performance of the Sussex Jazz Orchestra. The venue has a great sound coping with a large jazz band very well with a clear sound also coming out of the PA from solo mics.
The bands line up is more stripped down with many of the senior members being away for various reasons, giving younger musicians more of a chance to display their soloing talents. Baritone player Patrick Billingham acts as a warm host throughout the event talking you through each track as well as passing the solo opportunities around the band. Patrick makes you feel very welcome and with all the other changes plus some new faces in the band see's the songs played with a different feel than I have previously seen.
The band played two 50 minutes sets, playing mostly the late founder of the bands Ian Hamer's songs as well as a few arrangements from Tubby Hayes, Paul Busby and Oliver Nelson.
There were many highlights tonight. Intro track Hamerphilia is always a great staple in the set list and set the night off with a bang.
Last track of the first set was Hamer's rousing 'Choose who's Blues'. This track featured many inspiring solos from the band members, particularly from Electric Bass player Jerry Dearden who played possibly one of the most exciting slap solo's I have ever heard.
The Sussex Jazz Orchestra always deliver a great way to spend a night, though the audience numbers are low I really doubt it bothers these guys. They just enjoy playing the music as can be seen by the expressions on their faces. It's great to see so much humility and unity with the band members applauding others solo's rather than entering a competition of ego's.