NYJO @ The Manor – 20th November 2011

NYJO @ The Manor – 20th November 2011In The Band: Bill Ashton directing Joe Armon-Jones (piano): Grant Russell (bass/bass guitar); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Chapman (drums); Max Mills (percussion); Tom Dennis, Jacob Phillips, Louis Dowdeswell, Rob Greenwood, James Copus (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Pete Whitehouse, Ross Anderson, Alex Paxton, Maddie Dowdeswell (tenor trombones); Anna Drysdale (French horn); saxophones: Nadim Teimoori & Tom Stone (tenors), Jim Gold & David Healey (altos), Chris Whiter (baritone); Matthew Higham (flute). Kwabena Adjepong (above left) was the vocalist.

Set 1: Going Dutch (Chris Smith) [intro: Nadim & Tom S duetting; solos: Tom S, Nadim then duetting + trading 4s; coda as intro] : He’s Just My Bill (Jerome Kern, arr. Mark Nightingale) [intro: tmb section with Matthew (flt) a capella; solis: sax & tmb sections; solos: Alex, Scott] : Something’s Coming (Leonard Bernstein, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Scott with various reeds + Rob L; solos: Ross, Nadim] : Return Flight (Tom Stone) [intro: Rob L; solos: James, Tom S, Rob L] : I Wish You Love (v) (Charles Trenet, arr. Callum Au) [Kwabena (voc); solo: Tom S] : Try A Little Tenderness (v) (James Campbell/Reg Connelly/ Harold M Woods, arr. Tom Stone) [Kwabena (voc); solo: Rob L] : Laura (Dave Raksin, arr. Martin Williams) [solos: Nadim, Rob L]

Set 2: Love For Sale (Cole Porter, arr. Pete Myers) [solos: Jim, Tom D, Tom S, Scott] : You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (v) (Cole Porter, arr. Nick Townsend) [Kwabena (voc); no solos] : It’s All Right With Me (v) (Cole Porter, arr. Quincy Jones) [intro: Grant; Kwabena (voc); solo: Rob L] : Are We Nearly There Yet? (Callum Au) [feature for Rob L; solo: Jim] : L.B.G. (George Gershwin, arr. Alan Hare) [feature for Joe] : It Ain’t Necessarily So (George Gershwin, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Joe in ‘Hammond’ mode; solos: James, David, Scott] : Lisson Groove (Evan Jolly) [feature for tmb section] : Paris Is For Lovers (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Evan Jolly) [Intro: Joe; Kwabena (voc); no solos] : God Bless Us Everyone (v) (Paul Hart/Paul Cartledge/Kay Ashton, arr. Paul Hart) [Kwabena (voc); solo: Jim].

Jottings: A select but nonetheless enthusiastic audience assembled at The Manor to enjoy another cracking NYJO session, the band sounding really ‘tight’ for this concert. The programme included a triptych of tunes by Cole Porter, some Gershwin, a bit of Jerome Kern, a tricky new Bernstein West Side Story chart by Callum Au being given its world première and a couple of nominations for inclusion in NYJO’s Great British Songbook project – Try A Little Tenderness and the exquisite Laura

New to the band for this session were Joe, Jacob, David and Matthew; Joe successfully mastered his ‘initiation’ piece – Alan Hare’s take on Lady Be Good – whilst David vouchsafed a fine solo on It Ain’t Necessarily So and Matthew melded marvellously with the a capella trombones on He’s Just My Bill.

Other highlights included: Tom S’s and Nadim’s tour-de-force on Going Dutch; Rob L’s delightful guitar work on Return Flight, It’s All Right With Me and Are We Nearly…?; the storming second set opener – Buddy Rich’s version of Love For Sale; and Kwabena demonstrating his maturing talent with classy vocal contributions throughout the afternoon, but especially on I Wish You Love, Try… and You’d Be So Nice…

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding