NYJO Nonet @ The Manor – 19th February 2012

NYJO Nonet @ The Manor – 19th February 2012

In The Band: Bill Ashton directing (from left, back) Will Barry (piano); Sandy Sucholdolski (bass/ bass guitar); Scott Chapman (drums); (from left, front) Rob Luft (guitar); saxophones: Chris Whiter (baritone), Nadim Teemori (tenor), Lucas Dodd (alto); Henry Armburg-Jennings (trumpet); Callum Au (trombone); Jessica Dowdeswell was the vocalist.

Set 1: Are We Keeping You Up, Sir? (Dick Walter) [intro: Will; solos: Chris, Lucas, Nadim, Sandy, Scott] : The Song Is You (Jerome Kern, arr. Callum Au) [feature for Callum; solo: Rob] : No Me Esqueca (Recorda-Me) (Joe Henderson, arr. Phil Knights) [solos: Henry (flgl), Nadim, Will] : Here’s That Rainy Day (Jimmy Van Heusen, arr. Phil Woods) [solos: Lucas, Rob; coda: Henry] : It Could Happen To You (Jimmy Van Heusen, arr. Scott Chapman) [solos: Henry, Chris, Will, Scott] : My Funny Valentine (v) (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart, arr. Mark Nightingale) [intro: Rob; Jessica (voc) over Rob; solo: Rob] : Isn’t It Romantic (v) (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart, arr. Jessica Dowdeswell) [intro: Sandy (a capella) then + Jessica (voc); solos: Callum, Nadim]

Set 2: Fleet (Mark Nightingale) [intro: Rob with rhythm section; solos: Lucas, Rob] : I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter, arr. Callum Au) [solos: Nadim, Henry (flgl)] : Emily (Johnny Mandel, arr. Callum Au) [intro: reeds/brass (a capella); solos: Callum, Will] : My Ship (Kurt Weill, arr. Jimmy Deuchar) [theme: Henry (flgl), Nadim; solos: Will, Nadim] : Let’s Settle Down (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Evan Jolly) [intro: Rob + Jessica (voc); solos: Henry. Lucas] : My Romance (v) (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Henry (flgl); Jessica (voc) with Rob; solo: Henry (flgl)] : Have You Seen Them Cakes? (Josh Daniles) [feature for Henry; solos: Lucas, Henry (flgl), Scott].

Jottings: This concert marked the long-overdue Manor debut of the NYJO Nonet, a nine-piece ‘little big band’, plus vocalist – made up of both current and recent alumni of NYJO – which has been around, in various forms and with many different line-ups, for at least a couple of decades.

The Nonet’s programme comprised a wide-ranging selection of music, chosen to demonstrate the band’s playing strength and eclectic variety of material it can draw upon for its performances. The band’s instrumental line-up also generates a ‘West Coast’ vibe, which gave the session a very attractive, and different, feel to our normal offerings.

Highlights of the afternoon were: the relaxed opener, Are We…, which gave most of the band a chance to introduce themselves; Henry’s faultless flugel playing on Joe Henderson’s No Me…, Callum’s lovely chart for I’ve Got You… and Jimmy Deuchar’s rarely-heard version of My Ship; Lucas’s velvety alto on Here’s That Rainy Day and Fleet; and Jessica’s masterly interpretations of Isn’t It Romantic, My Funny Valentine and My Romance.

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photo: Bill Ashton