In The Band: Bill Ashton directing Chris Eldred (piano): Sandy Sucholdolski (bass); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Chapman (drums); Dave Elliott (percussion); Laura Jurd, Tom Syson, Tommy Walsh, Rueben Fowler, Tom Dennis (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Pete Whitehouse, Ralph Clarkson, Ross Anderson, Chris Valentine, Maggie Dowdeswell (tenor trombones); saxophones: Simon Marsh & Lucas Dodd (altos), Michael Lack & Tom Stone (tenors), Chris Whiter (baritone); Helen Wilson (flute). Noemi Nutti, Layla Lei and Tommy Walsh were the vocalists.
Set 1: Our Love Is Here To Stay (George Gershwin, arr. Martin Williams) [feature for Rob] : Mr C.P. (Sam Mayne) [feature for Lucas; soli: sax section; solos: Chris Eldred, Lucas] : Return Flight (Tom Stone) [intro: Rob; solos: Laura, Tom, Scott, Rob] : Times Were (v) (Christine Denmead/Bill Ashton, arr. Mark Armstrong) [Layla (voc); solo: Tom Dennis] : Shadow Of Doubt (v) (John Dixon/Bill Ashton, arr. Steve Hill) [Layla (voc); solo: Michael] : The Sweet Yakkity Waltz (Ken Wheeler) [solos: Reuben (flgl), Rob, Tom Stone] : My Romance (v) (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Chris; Noemi (voc); solos: Tommy (flgl)] : Looking For Love (v) (Bill Ashton) [Noemi (voc); solo: Tom Stone] : Groove Rider (Gareth Lockrane) [solos: Tom Stone, Ross, Scott, Helen]
Set 2: The Man I Love (George Gershwin, arr. Mark Armstrong) [solos: Tom Stone, Tom Dennis, Chris Valentine; soli: sax section] : Jasmine (Mark Armstrong) [theme & solo: Lucas (sop)] : Nice Work If You Can Get It (v) (George & Ira Gershwin, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Chris Eldred with Neomi (colla voce) then Sandy with Neomi (voc); solo: Tom Dennis; Noemi (scat voc) with Rob Luft] : Thought I’d Ask (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Bob Dowell) [intro: Chris Eldred; Noemi (voc) with Tom Stone; solos: Michael, Rob] : Abbey Gale (Evan Jolly) [intro & solos: Laura & Helen; solos: Dave (drs) & Scott (perc) alternating] : Where Is The Music? (v) (Jack Long/Keith Kitchen, arr. Chris Smith) [intro: Layla (voc) with Chris Eldred; solo: Lucas] : Mo’ Mumbles (v?) (Callum Au) [feature for Tommy (scat voc); solos: Ross, Tommy (flgl)]
Jottings: A goodly crowd eventually gathered at The Manor for another great NYJO session, comprising excerpts from The Great American Songbook interspersed with originals from current band members and some famous alumni.
Although there had been minor changes to the band line-up since last month, the vocal chair occupants remained the same: the small lady from Walthamstow with the big voice – Layla Lei (left) – gave us powerful renditions of Times Were, Shadow of Doubt and Where Is The Music?, whilst Noemi provided assuredly jazzy readings of My Romance, Looking For Love, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Thought I’d Ask
A couple of charts we’d not heard the band play here before were Sammy Mayne’s only known composition Mr C.P. – a tribute possibly to Bird – which was a feature for some lovely alto playing by Lucas, and Ken Wheeler’s The Sweet Yakkity Waltz which, after an orchestral opening, got into a great 3/4 groove and gave Reuben, on flugel, Rob and Tom Stone nice solo opportunities.
Other highlights were: some superb trumpet playing by Manor debutant Tom Dennis on Times Were, The Man I Love and Nice Work…; Laura’s classy contributions to Return Flight and Abbey Gale; some exquisite guitar work by Rob on Our Love Is Here To Stay (a special request by Manor regular Burt Coleman) and Thought I’d Ask; and Tommy’s stylish flugel fingering on My Romance and Mo’ Mumbles.
Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photo: Alan Tagg