It’s just over three months since NYJO released its celebratory fiftieth anniversary double album, NYJO FIFTY. The album has been receiving great press and airplay over these three months. We thought you might like to see some of it!
NATIONAL YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA
NYJO FIFTY released 15 November 2015
Artistic & Music Director, Mark Armstrong
Special guest soloists: Zoe Rahman, piano; Julian Siegel, tenor saxophone;
Gareth Lockrane, flute; Mark Nightingale, trombone
You can order the double CD for £15 from the NYJO website here.
Jazzwise Magazine, December 2015, 4 stars
These are today’s players, equally good at both genres, polished and enthusiastic, accomplished and ready to go. So here’s to NYJO and to the Class of 2015. All set for another 50 years? Why not?
Northern Echo, December 2015
This magnificent double album celebrates the fact that the National Youth Jazz Orchestra was founded by Bill Ashton in 1965. Now under the direction of Mark Armstrong it goes from strength to strength and this album from the current band reflects this. Playing throughout, both ensemble and solo, is of a consistently high standard and the whole package is highly recommended.
Financial Times, November 2015, 4 stars
It takes only two tracks of this celebratory double album to establish the breadth, maturity and technical excellence of this long-established proving ground of UK jazz talent. The intricate patchwork of riffs and dramatic tempo changes of “Mama Badgers” leads into the supple sonorities of the aptly-titled “Dreams”. Elsewhere the band intersperses fresh-minted arrangements with back-catalogue favourites and full-on blare with gentle balladry and contemporary funk. All the arrangements are in-house, the solos stand up and four guests include saxophonist Julian Siegel and pianist Zoe Rahman.
London Jazz News, November 2015
There has been a lot of excellent UK big band music this year, notably from the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra and the Patrick Hayes Electric Ensemble. This one is a fine addition to the pile: you get a lot of music for your money – 19 tracks in well over two hours – and it’s music of the very highest quality.
Daily Telegraph, 50 best jazz albums of 2015, 4 stars
A fine big band album in its own right and a fitting way to commemorate their 50th anniversary NYJO FIFTY offers two CDs of real quality. This cross-section of the band’s repertoire features a number of special guests including alumni Mark Nightingale (trombone), Gareth Lockrane (flute) and Zoe Rahman (piano).
Sunday Times, January 2016
The big band that’s been an incubator for generations of hopefuls blows out the birthday candles. There’s certainly no shortage of precocious talent among the soloists and ensemble.
Guardian, January 2016, 3 stars
Britain’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra, which celebrates its 50th anniversary with this double-CD set from its 2015 alumni, has to balance being a talent-spotting hothouse, a workshop for aspiring studio pros and a class act that many would never guess was a student band […] It’s immaculately played and full of gems.