In The Band: Bill Ashton directing Chris Eldred (piano): Grant Russell (bass/bass guitar, right); Rob Luft (guitar); Olly Sarkar (drums); Max Mills (percussion); James Copus, Mark Kavuma, Louis Dowdeswell, Rob Greenwood, Tom Dennis, Brindley Haywood (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Pete Whitehouse, Ross Anderson, Adam Tyas, Tom Green (tenor trombones); Anna Drysdale (French horn); saxophones: Jim Gold & Jonty Griffiths (altos), Shahan Miran & Nadim Teimoori (tenors), Chris Whiter (baritone); Emily Ogiluie (flute). Emma Smith, Kwabena Adjepong and Francesca Hole were the vocalists.
Set 1: Tangerine (Victor Schertzinger/Johnny Mercer, arr. Steve Titchener) [solos: James, Jim, Ollie] : Putney Vale (Tom Stone, arr. Callum Au) [feature for Nadim; solo: Rob Luft] : La Muchacha Do Colombia (Martin Williams) [intro: Barry; solos: Jonty, Tom Green, Tom Dennis; coda: Ollie & Max duel] : It Ain’t Necessarily So (George Gershwin, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Chris in ‘Hammond’ mode; solos: Tom Dennis, Jonty, Ollie] : Try A Little Tenderness (v) (James Campbell/Reg Connelly/ Harold M Woods, arr. Tom Stone) [Kwabena (voc); no solos] : Too Close For Comfort (v) (Jerry Bock/ Lawrence Holofcener/George Weiss, arr. Tommy Laurence) [Kwabena (voc); solo: Nadim] : Cherokee (Ray Noble) [Intro: Rob Luft; solo: Shahan] : A Step Too Far (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Callum Au) [Francesca (voc); solo: Jim]
Set 2: Never The Twain (Matt Wates) [feature for Jim & Jonty] : Almost There (Anthony Adams) [feature for Rob Luft] : Bustance (Callum Au) [feature for Barry; solo: Grant] : God Bless The Child (v) (Arthur Herzog jnr./Billie Holiday, arr. Harry South) [Emma (voc); no solos] : Don’t Go To Her (v) (Bill Ashton) [Emma (voc); solo: Nadim] : He’s Just My Bill (Jerome Kern, arr. Mark Nightingale) [intro: tmb section & Emily (flt) a capella; solis: sax & tmb sections; solo: Ross] : How Can You Believe In Love? (v) (Tim Colwell, arr. Adrian Fry) [Francesca (voc); solo: Tom Dennis; soli: tpts] : Paris Is For Lovers (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Evan Jolly) [intro: Chris; Kwabena (voc); no solos].
Jottings: A goodly-sized crowd welcomed NYJO back to The Manor after an enforced month’s break and were rewarded with a well-balanced programme of classic big band standards, leavened with originals and charts by alumni and current band members.
A number of players – Max, Mark, Brindley, Tom Green, Shahan, Emily and Francesca – were making their Manor debuts, giving the band a somewhat ‘fresher’, but still clearly identifiable, sound.
The vocalists each had a brace of numbers: Kwabena demonstrating his relaxed style on …Tenderness and Too Close…, Emma her jazz inflections on God Bless… (a stunning reading) and Bill’s Don’t Go…, whilst newcomer Francesca impressed mightily with her interpretations of A Step Too Far and Tim Colwell’s How Can You Believe…?
Other highlights included: Nadim’s (left) feature on Putney Vale and his soloing on Too Close… and Don’t Go…; Rob Luft’s consummate guitar playing on his feature Almost There, his intro to Cherokee and his solo on Putney Vale; Jim’s accomplished alto contributions to Tangerine, A Step Too Far and his duet feature with Jonty, Never The Twain; Grant’s bass solo on Bustance; and Ollie’s delightful drumming, a bedrock for the band’s performance all afternoon.
Kwabena encored with Paris… to round off a superb concert, with NYJO on top form.
Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photos: Bill Ashton