20 instrumentalists, 7 singers, 2 directors, and 2 soloists. That’s all it took to create an hour of jazz I will never forget.
I urge you to listen to the beginning of Prom 28 to get an idea of the atmosphere that graced the RAH last night. http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/emv8gw#b07m5hjx. It didn’t take very long to be transfixed on the beyond impressive tone and technical quality of Iain Ballamy, the tenor saxophonist soloist. I have always loved Big Band music, but haven’t really indulged myself in all different types of jazz, which last night opened my eyes to.
The NYJOS, whose ages run from 15-25 made the evening effortless. Honestly, the band didn’t do anything unimpressive. It was truly inspiring and amazing that the same quality and style of music that we hear on CD’s can be played by a group so young. And nothing made this clearer when the Tenor saxophonist from NYJOS took over from Iain Ballamy and sounded just as, if not more impressive than the world-renowned soloist. Such talent.
I didn’t really see any point in a conductor/director because the band worked faultlessly with and without anyone waving their arms around pointlessly at the front. It was a shame that the trombones let their tuning go once, but what can you expect? I mean, they are trombonists after all…
The one trombonist that never let me down was the EPIC bass trombonist, Adam Crighton. To say legend, a word which I might use too much, is a shameful understatement. All the adjectives I can think of; chunky, bold, funky, insane, fat are all just understatements for this man’s talent.
Talking of bass, the bass guitarist didn’t even break a sweat as he destroyed playing bass guitar and string bass for the entire gig. It was a good thing he was miked up because he deserved the MOTM all day long.
I can say without hesitation that every solo was perfect for the style of the piece, and no one overdid it or showed any sign of fatigue over the hour of music making. It did, in fact, feel so relaxed that I could have been just watching them rehearse.
The highlight of the evening however was the ending ‘you’ve got a friend’ sang by the incredible destroyer that is Liane Carroll. She strolled on with almost as much confidence as Pekka Kuusisto from prom 27, but then absolutely destroyed her cadenzas and riffs like no other musician could have.
Some parts of the concert were defiantly from my proms favourite ever moments but there were parts where I didn’t feel secure in the tuning or completely involved in some of the improvisation, sorry to name names but the clarinet soloist.. sorry.. However, overall I felt that all the passion was there and I can pass a few slips so it’s another impressive 4*’s for the NYJOS!!!
Listen to 1:09 onwards like honestly, just do it.