NYJO @ The Manor – 21st August 2011

NYJO @ The Manor – 21st August 2011In The Band: Bill Ashton directing Will Barry (piano): Conor Chaplin (bass/bass guitar); Jon Russell (guitar); Ollie Sarkher (drums); Dave Elliott (percussion, set 2); Tom Stone (tenor sax), Tom Sison, Louis Dowdeswell, Dave Elliott (set 1), James Copus & Harrison Cole (set 2) (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Mat Walton, Ross Anderson, Tom Baxter, Maddie Dowdeswell (tenor trombones); Anna Drysdale (French horn); saxophones: Simon Marsh & Lucas Dodd (altos), Michael Lack & Jim Gold (tenors), Chris Whiter (baritone); Helen Wilson (flute, left). Billie Wackrill, Layla Lei and Jessica Dowdeswell were the vocalists.

Set 1: Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me (Sidney Clare/Con Conrad, arr. Gareth Lockrane) [solos: Helen, Matt, Ollie] : Moon Mood (Sir John Dankworth) [intro: Will with rhythm section; soli: sax section; solo: Jon] : Abbey Gale (Evan Jolly) [intro & solos: Helen & Tom Stone; solos: Ollie & Dave (perc) alternating] : Nobody Knows You, When You’re Down And Out (v) (Jimmy Cox/Bill Ashton, arr. Gareth Lockrane) [Billie (voc); solo: Ross (pixie & wah-wah muted)] : I Was Hoping (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. John Clark) [Layla (voc); solos: Lucas, Simon, Will] : You’d Think I’d Learn (v) (Christine Denmead/Bill Ashton, arr. Josh Daniels) [intro: Will & Lucas with Jessica (voc); solo: Lucas]

Set 2: A Foggy Day (George Gershwin, arr. Steve Titchener) [soli: sax section; solos: Tom Sison, Jim] : Here’s That Rainy Day (Jimmy Van Heusen, arr. Phil Woods) [feature for Lucas] : Cannon Fodder (Alan Ganley) [solos: Jim & Michael, then alternating, Tom Stone & Harrison, then alternating; drum interjections: Ollie] : Teach Me Tonight (v) (Gene De Paul/Sammy Cahn, arr. Simon Lewis) [Jessica (voc); no solos] : Isn’t It Spring Again? (v) (Tim Colwell arr. Paul Higgs) [Billie (voc); no solos] : How Can You Believe In Love? (v) (Tim Colwell arr. Adrian Fry)  [Layla (voc); solo: Harrison; soli: tpt section] : Remembrance (Paul Hart) [intro: Helen a capella, then with Will; solos: Helen, Will; coda: Louis] : Let There Be Love (v) (Lionel Rand/Ian Grant, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Will ; Barry Venn + Billie, Layla & Jessica (voc duets)]

Jottings: A shortage of trumpet players meant that NYJO’s August solus session at The Manor started with percussionist Dave and Tom Stone (on tenor sax!) depping in the back row – although Manor debutants James and Harrison arrived in time for the second set, Tom elected to stay on ‘trumpet’ until the end…

It was good to see Helen back once again: she made a prominent contribution throughout the afternoon, providing particularly fine solos on Ma… and on a romping version of Abbey Gale, and featured heavily on the Remembrance tribute to two NYJO alumni, both recently deceased aged 27, Amy Winehouse and trumpeter Richard Turner.

NYJO @ The Manor – 21st August 2011A surfeit of vocalists meant that each got just one song apiece per set: whilst Layla played it safe with a brace of NYJO ‘standards’, Billie opted for a classic standard – Nobody Knows You… – and a rarely heard Tim Colwell song, Isn’t It Spring Again? Demonstrating her much improved vocal form, Jessica (left) was confidently sublime on You’d Think I’d Learn and X-ratedly raunchy on Teach Me Tonight…

Other highlights included: Jon’s guitar work on Sir John Dankworth’s stately and rarely-played Moon Mood (apparently this was its first NYJO outing since 1975!); the sax section negotiating a particularly tricky soli during A Foggy Day; some beautiful playing by Lucas on his feature Here’s That Rainy Day; and Jim, Michael, Tom Stone and Harrison attacking Allan Ganley’s Cannon Fodder with brio. Bill reminded us that Allan made a point of not writing a solo for the instrument played by the musician referenced in the title – in this case Cannonball Adderley and the alto sax. Interestingly, when Cliff Hardie’s Soho Jazz Orchestra played this number at The Manor recently it was called Victor and it didn’t have a vibraphone solo either…

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photos: Chris Glass

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