It’s been a very special year for The Notebenders Big Band, with many events celebrating what would have been the 100thbirthday of its founder, the jazz saxophonist, Andy Hamilton. We’ve performed at a concert for Andy at the Town Hall, done our monthly gigs at Symphony Hall, taken part in the Big Band Day at the Spotted Dog and played for a day with Birmingham Conservatoire jazz students at the Eastside Jazz Club.
In October we cut our first professionally produced CD at the Conservatoire Recording Studio. It was an incredibly exciting, hectic and truly exhausting day, and my first experience of the fascinating world of recording and music tech. The day started with a sound check where we had to try out a few phrases of our choice. Then we worked our way through the tunes, often having several goes to get each one right; one required ten attempts – not one I was in, fortunately!
I also learnt how to while away the hours when you’re not needed with the help of great friends, pizza and highly-competitive rounds of UNO!
Now we just have to wait while all the mixing and other magic is done – can’t wait to hear the finished product and find out what they’ve done with my solo!
Owen Swanborough (Shells)