Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘swing’

Dancers Swing at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park to Big Band Music by Moonlight Swing Orchestra

Posted by glennled on February 15, 2020

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Swing dancing to the Moonlight Swing Orchestra

 

At Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, Seattle, there is a community treasure. It’s a public entertainment venue where musicians play and people eat, listen, talk, and dance. It was there on a Saturday night, 25 January, that my wife and I went to dinner and heard the Big Band sound of the mighty Moonlight Swing Orchestra (MSO).

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The Moonlight Swing Orchesta

This non-union orchestra has been playing for more than 15 years in the Greater Seattle and North Sound areas and has developed a public following of fans. At this performance, people came to dance, and they appeared to be quite accomplished—some might even be dance instructors, they were so good and having such fun. The dance floor could accommodate about 30-40 couples at once, and the space was filled for almost every song. Here are a few of the 28 songs they played in two sets: “In the Mood,” “Mas Que Nada,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “New York, New York,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and “That’s All.” Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/calendar. IMG_6293 (2)

Naturally, I paid close attention to the brass players. In fact, I’ve played alongside of one of them myself on other occasions. The regular trumpeters are Rick Newell (lead), Jeff Davis (2nd and shares lead), Dan Hall, and Debbie Dawson. Two others play when needed: Jim Bradbury and Doug Hodges. The vocalist was Robin Hilt.

Mark Kunz, MSO’s leader and an alto sax player, says the orchestra practices most Wednesdays for about two hours in Monroe and performs about once a month. They are now contracted for 10 gigs this year, so far. “The Third Place Commons performance was the best attended we’ve had at that location,” he said. They’ll be back at Third Place Commons on 25 July. Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/contact/.IMG_6236

MSO regularly plays at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Monroe Community Senior Center, and Concerts in the Park in Langley on Whidbey Island. Other current, public bookings are in Everett and Tulalip. They are available for private bookings, too, including weddings and other events such as their annual performance on New Year’s Eve at Emerald Heights Retirement Community in Redmond. Please see http://moonlightswingorchestra.org.

Mr. Kunz says the musicians are an eclectic group—many with professional experience and others who are talented amateurs. Collectively, they have more than 200 years experience. The orchestra is paid nominally per performance, and the musicians’ individual shares basically cover expenses. They just love playing the music of Dorsey, Ellington, Miller, Shaw, and others for their fans. They have one CD currently available and another in process.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dire Straits: “They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band”

Posted by glennled on January 17, 2013

dire-straits-sultans-of-swingLately, I’ve been listening again to Dire Straits, a British rock band led by Mark Knopfler. Their biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies, and their worldwide album sales exceed 120 million. The band’s career spanned a combined total of 15 years (1977-1988, 1991-1995). Their most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing,” “Money for Nothing,” “Walk of Life,” “Brothers in Arms,” “Lady Writer,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Tunnel of Love,” “Private Investigations,” “So Far Away,” and “Your Latest Trick.”

In the “Sultans of Swing” song, a crowd of young boys in the honky tonk, “dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles,” are drunk as they listen to a band called the Sultans of Swing. Two lines, sung with dripping disdain, catch my ear: “They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band, It ain’t what they call rock and roll…”

Well, now, wait just a minute! You can’t dismiss all us horns. Those boys obviously don’t know their jazz music history and don’t even care about learning it either. No, even though the Sultans of Swing may play some swing music on their rock and roll instruments (guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, and percussion), that’s not the swing music of the great Swing Band Era, ~1936-1944. And all those big bands did feature trumpeters—and some great ones, too!

Want to hear some swing trumpeters from a time long gone by? Try these, for seven of the best:

Yeah, that was then, way back when I was a boy. Today, I also love the “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits even though they trash us trumpeters. But someday, they, too, will be bye-gones, like brown baggies and platform shoes.   😉

Please click on any image to enlarge it.

Posted in Selected Trumpet Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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