Sunday, 14 August 2022

Review: Movie themes a roaring success

THIS fourth visit to the Kenton by the 22-piece jazz orchetra was a sell-out.

THIS fourth visit to the Kenton by the 22-piece jazz orchetra was a sell-out.

After an open rehearsal in the afternoon, where local children could watch music director Mark Armstrong at work, the evening concert was a great success and the audience’s reaction reflected this. Many said it was the finest NYJO performance they had ever seen.

The Jazz Goes To The Movies theme featured Academy Award winning songs and movie themes which in the main were great favourites and instantly recognisable.

Mark injects enormous energy and verve and his enthusiasm was reflected in his young musicians, who were clearly enjoying themselves. NYJO is famed for its high standards of musicianship, and this was really in evidence — the entries and exits were crisp and there was precision in every department. Dressed in black with red ties, they looked immaculate behind their white and black music stands.

The evening opened with a rousing arrangement of Cole Porter’s Love For Sale. An upbeat version of Raskin’s masterpiece Laura was followed by Somewhere Over The Rainbow, featuring a stratospheric trumpet solo by Nick Dewhurst. Singer Jessica Radcliffe, making her Kenton debut, wowed a Nelson Riddle arrangement of That Old Black Magic, accompanied by both alto and baritone saxes.

The second half opened with a James Bond triple, with skilful solos including trombones and Bob Luft’s versatile guitar. After Something’s Coming from West Side Story, Jessica featured again with a sentimental rendition of A Foggy Day and the melancholy The Man That Got Away. The concert concluded with Quincey Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, the theme from the Austin Powers films, introducing the “queeker” — a little known percussion instrument which produces a wail!

The theatre shook to thunderous applause and cheers from an exhilarated audience. NYJO is now a firm brand at the Kenton.

National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Kenton Theatre

Sunday, November 8


Basil Evans


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