Specially commissioned compositions by Laura Jurd, Issie Barratt, Nikki Iles and Yazz Ahmed are featured on She Said

NYJO - the National Youth Jazz Orchestra - this autumn unveil She Said the fruits of a year-long programme ''to remix the gender balance in jazz'' a recording made in 2019 at Air in Hampstead and featuring a 24 piece orchestra all aged between 18 …

Published: 28 Aug 2022. Updated: 14 days.

NYJO - the National Youth Jazz Orchestra - this autumn unveil She Said the fruits of a year-long programme ''to remix the gender balance in jazz'' a recording made in 2019 at Air in Hampstead and featuring a 24 piece orchestra all aged between 18 and 25 plus guests including Norma Winstone, Georgina Jackson, Josephine Davies, Shirley Smart, Laura Jurd, Issie Barratt, Nikki Iles and Yazz Ahmed.

Norma Winstone and Ralph Towner's beautiful 'Celeste' which was on the Norma Winstone, John Taylor, Tony Coe 1987 ECM album Somewhere Called Home newly arranged by Charlie Bates is one of the pieces included.

The NYJO website explains that ''the brief for the guest creatives was simple: to compose freely, drawing on the creative possibilities offered by a big band to express their voice as women in jazz''. NYJO say that Laura Jurd, Issie Barratt, Nikki Iles and Yazz Ahmed ''were given an open brief: to compose freely, drawing on their imagination and particular circumstances. Work by historic female composers such as Lil Hardin and Billie Holiday also are included in the project's scope.

She Said track listings are 'Wild Oak' (feat. Nikki Iles), 'Struttin' With Some Barbecue,' 'A Timeless Place' (feat. Norma Winstone), 'Willow Weep For Me,' 'The Earth Keeps Spinning,' 'Remind Me' (feat. Georgina Jackson), 'Transition' (feat. Josephine Davies), 'Nurrquss' (feat. Yazz Ahmed, Nikki Iles, and Shirley Smart), 'Celeste,' 'You Do?!' and 'God Bless the Child' (feat. NYJO Academy). The album is out on 7 October via the NYJO label distributed by Proper Music.

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Clemens Kuratle Ydivide, Lumumba, Intakt ***

Ydivide is the multi-national band of the Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle. Fans of brilliant English pianist Elliot Galvin and Irish guitarist Chris Guilfoyle who are both members of the quintet will be cheered at the solos on 'Another One For Rose' …

Published: 28 Aug 2022. Updated: 30 days.

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Ydivide is the multi-national band of the Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle. Fans of brilliant English pianist Elliot Galvin and Irish guitarist Chris Guilfoyle who are both members of the quintet will be cheered at the solos on 'Another One For Rose' firstly from Galvin and then Guilfoyle before the horn statement. And that incisive horn statement is from London scene alto saxophonist Dee Byrne an avantist who was formerly a long-time member of Emrys Baird's very different Fred Wesley loving funk band Soul Immigrants. Guilfoyle, the son of the MBASE-aligned leading educator bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, goes rockist later and that's when Swiss bassist Lukas Traxel and Kuratle really show their mettle. Progressive avant jazz rock in short it's a stimulating affair and Guilfoyle around for ages steals the show on quite a few tracks while Byrne plays as well as I have ever heard her either live or on record. Both players' profiles deserve to soar as a result of this fine debut made at a Zurich studio. Kuratle's tunes aren't the easiest to digest but reward patient listening especially as you get used to their unusual musical syntax to ultimately reveal the considerable power and sense of freedom that the group so winningly generates. SG

Ydivide, above. Photo via Dee Byrne's website