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.