NYJO @ The Manor – 27th December 2012

NYJO @ The Manor – 27th December 2012In The Band: Bill Ashton (right) directing Chris Eldred (piano): Conor Chaplin (bass); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Chapman (drums); Alistair Martin, Brindley Heywood-Snell, David Runkle*, Louis Dowdeswell, Jeremy Law, James Copus (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Maddie Dowdeswell, Ross Anderson, Chris Valentine, Paul Dowdeswell, Mark Horton* (tenor trombones); Anna Drysdale (French horn); saxophones: Richard Shepherd & Jessica Dowdeswell/Michael Lack* (tenors), Jim Gold & Lucas Dodd (altos), Chris Whiter (baritone); Helen Wilson (flute). Lorraine Craig, Bill Ashton & Jessica Dowdeswell were the vocalists. (*Set 2 only)

Set 1: Rocking Carol (Czech trad. arr. Evan Jolly) [solo: Chris E] : Deep And Crisp And Evan (Evan Jolly) [solos: Lucas, Ross, James] : The Good Life (Alexander Sacha Distel, arr. Callum Au) [feature for Richard] : Another Always (v) (Tony Charlesworth/ Bill Ashton, arr. Chris Smith) [Lorraine (voc); no solos] : Looking Back (v) (Bill Ashton/Derek Goom, arr. Mark Nightingale) [intro: tpt section; Lorraine (voc); double-time soli: sax section] : Childstones (What Child Is This/Greensleeves) (Mark Nightingale) [solos: Richard, James (flgl), Rob; soli: sax section] : The Singular Mr Dodd (Callum Au) [feature for Lucas]

Set 2: Never The Twain (Matt Wates) [duet feature for Lucas & Jim] : Embraceable You (George Gershwin, arr. Kenny Wheeler) [feature for James (flgl)] : Beyond The Hatfield Tunnel (Paul Hart) [feature for Richard (curly sop); solo: Rob] : A Way With Words (v) (Bill Ashton/Steve Gray, arr. Steve Gray) [intro: James (flgl); Jessica (voc); solo: James (flgl)] : You’d Think I’d Learn (v) (Bill Ashton & Christine Denmead, arr. Josh Daniels) [Jessica (voc); solo: Lucas] : O Holy Night (Adolphe Adam, arr. Tom Kubis) [feature for Louis (flgl/tpt); solo: Richard (curly sop)] : Paris Is For Lovers (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Evan Jolly) [Bill (voc); no solos] : I Remember The X-Men (Gareth Lockrane) [feature for Helen; solo: Michael; coda: Scott] : Much Too Much (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Chris Smith) [Lorraine & Jessica (voc) with Conor then joined by Scott; solo: Ross] : Winter Wonderland (v) (Felix Bernard/Richard G Smith, additional words Bill Ashton) [Jessica + Lorraine (voc duet)

Jottings: This year NYJO’s traditional post-Christmas appearance at The Manor saw the band augmented by various guests, either through force of circumstance or by design. Late arrivals, guest Mark and regular Michael were more than ably depped during the first half by Dowdeswell père and Jessica respectively, whilst David was press-ganged from the audience into participating in part two.

NYJO @ The Manor – 27th December 2012Alumna Lorraine (left) was the guest vocalist, and the concert heavily featured the composing and arranging talents of some other illustrious alumni – Evan Jolly, Gareth Lockrane, Mark Nightingale and Chris Smith – musicians with strong NYJO associations – Paul Hart, Josh Daniels and Matt Wates – as well as the standards-arranging and originals-writing expertise of Callum Au.

Vocal duties were shared between Lorraine and Jessica, the former demonstrating her well-honed technique on Another Always and Looking Back, with its meaty, double-time sax soli, whilst Jessica riffed off James’s fabulous flugel on Away…, and received bountiful backing from Lucas on You’d Think…

Other highlights included: Helen’s flute feature, I Remember…; Richard’s terrific tenor on Sacha Distel’s The Good Life and his feature, Beyond…; Louis’s stunning trumpet playing on his show-case, Tom Kubis’s O Holy Night, with Richard’s sterling soprano support; and James’s trumpet turn on Deep And Crisp… along with his lovely flugel feature, Embraceable…

From Evan’s welcoming Czech mate – Rocking Carol – to its duetting departure for a Winter Wonderland, this concert provided a perfect post-festivity pick-me-up…

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding