Review: Jazz Evening

What a very delightful Jazz Evening we were all treated to – the smoky black that the ensembles were all dressed in oozed jazzy finesse and cool and what we saw was as brilliant as what we went on to hear.  

The students’ enjoyment of playing and participating radiated out of them and was just infectious.  George (my trousers are trendily always a little too short) Cayley never stopped smiling behind his drum kit, Bella Imi positively smouldered with her solos with the Jazz Quartet, Sarah Mattinson whom we often see so graciously poised flute in hand was equally poised at the piano, Salome Showbiz Smile Northridgecharmed us once again and Luke Smith was, well, just frankly on stage all the time looking cool with his bass guitar. It speaks volumes about his commitment to rehearsal that he should have been included in every ensemble on the night.

There is something joyous about an ensemble of dizzyingly different heights – what’s not to love about Ben Spink holding his own near Tobias Wyles at twice Ben’s height?  Rare and special are the occasions when we get to see students of different age groups working so happily together at such a high standard and with such a varied repertoire too.  Equally joyous is the opportunity to see girls making just as damn much noise with their trombones, saxophones and trumpets as the boys – Florence Tuckey’s lung capacity was quite clearly comparable to Nico Fletcher’s , Nicky Savage’s trumpeting wasn’t about to be overshadowed by George Nicholson’s nor did Georgia Gibson’s alto saxophone make any less noise than Nicholas Rusinov’s rather heavy and cumbersome looking baritone saxophone.  The layman (or laybrass, in this instance perhaps?) wonders how heavy such a saxophone is and how one might have enough puff left to play it in addition to merely holding it. Nicholas Rusinov looked decidedly funky however, with his saxophone poker face never revealing whether he was weighed down by his baritone saxophone.  Thor Kverndal’s toes tapped rhythmically as he played his saxophone and didn’t we all find ourselves doing the very same? There we all were, toes a-tapping all around the room.

That there should have been twiglets left in bowls on tables at the end of the evening suggests that the music really was the prime attraction. This was an evening of happiness and smiling all round – both on and off stage, and we are lucky to have been there to see it.

Maria von Weissenberg

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