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My Favourite Things

 

 

Nick Ross

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The Nick Ross Orchestra

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Nick Ross First CD A Winner!

Nick Ross and his Orchestra are rising up the ranks of the best of the big bands. Nick has been gradually gathering ground in popularity during the last five years. With falling bookings and attendances amongst the other “big boys”, the Nick Ross Orchestra's is becoming known by big band fans everywhere, and word is out that this band is not to be missed.

Nick Ross is faithful to the music of the Glenn Miller Era playing much of the great bands of the period up into the 1970's.

He has great admiration for Syd Lawrence who was solely responsible for the up serge in Big Band Music in the late 1960's here in the UK and for giving a jump-start to big bands touring again the UK in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Nick admits that he was very much influenced by the sound created by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra of the 1970s and at every concert plays a tribute to Syd, playing Syd's own composition 'Evening Serenade'.

 

Glenn Miller

 

Syd Lawrence

This month is of particular interest to Big Band Buddies as Nick has released his first CD and, having had a pre-issue copy sent to me, I am happy to report that this is indeed a great band to hear blasting through your speakers. Although the selection of music is not new to us, his rendition makes for enjoyable listening and if you're like me it's not
long before you will be on your feet conducting your imaginary orchestra as you listen to such great classics as, 'My Favourite Things', which is the Title track of the CD.

Alan Ladds

Nick's band was quite a surprise, to not only me but also the late Tony Wild (Big Band Promoter ) when we both first heard and saw this band in action four years ago. And I recall Tony Wild's eyebrows raising as he looked at me with a smile on his face as the orchestra played the next track that appears on this CD. It was 'My Hero' a tune that is not only the same arrangement as my original recording by the Ralph Flanagan orchestra, who were at that time (1950's) trying to mimic Glenn Miller's sound promoted by the record company. Syd's later version of this was even better and unlike the Flanagan band, although nice in small doses, too much from that one band did make me begin to feel sick, whereas you could listen to the SLO forever.
That's another reason why Nick Ross and his orchestra is just one of those bands you can listen to over and over again without feeling nauseous.

Derek Southcott

(Track 3) is a Glenn Miller classic 'A String of Pearls'and as I mentioned before includes some of the ex-SLO sidemen, Terry Reaney on Trumpet, Alan Ladds Alto Sax, and Norman Brown on Tenor Sax.

(Track 4) is vocal, and once again an ex-SLO star introduced to us at the time of his first appearance in the SLO by Chris Dean. Mathew Ford now touring
with his own shows appears with Nick at many concerts.

Mathew sings 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square'. Alan Ladds on Clarinet (Track 5) is next to show off his talent with 'Begin the Beguine', and this is followed by, yes your guessed it yet, another ex-star of the SLO, now hopefully a permanent fixture with this orchestra, Derek Southcott playing solo trombone with 'The Way We Were'.

 

Terry Reaney

Mike Burney

Undoubtedly I see this CD flying out at concerts because new audiences who attend the shows are almost begging for a CD as they leave the venue, and until now these have not been available.


The next tracks include, East Of The Sun- trumpet solo by James Stretton, Isfahan-Alto solo by Alan Ladds, Cherokee with Mike Burney and Norman Brown on Tenor Saxes. Then the list goes on with more gems, The Theme From Love Story, the theme from 'The Glenn Miller Story' Too Little Time, played by lead trombonist Lee Hallam, with the orchestra conducted on this occasion by Derek Southcott, whose rendition of this number, when he played it with the SLO back in the eighties, was indeed a highlight of those concerts.

Now everyone perks up when this young attractive singer walks on stage, Alice Coulam brings even more glamour to these concerts, on this CD she sings Blue Moon.

(Track 13) is yet another ex-SLO musician, also was a member of the BBC Big Band, Mark White here with a trumpet solo's in this tune, Alfie. James Stretton Trumpet solos in 'Dancing In The Dark' on (track 14).

Mark White

 

 

 

 

Alice Coulam

 

Now would a band playing music from the advertised heading of 'Music From The Glenn Miller Era' dare not play the next number? Nick Ross did not miss this out, Glenn Miller's own 'Moonlight Serenade', this is good , with a very nice Miller sound, and not far short of being one of the best you could hear, but like all 'Miller' fans only the original will satisfy this writer, surface noise and scratches an added bonus.


The final track deserves a special mention as an introduction to a young West Country drummer who has been with the band from the start Gary Evens. Truly a great drummer showing off his talent with the Louie Bellson version of 'Skin Deep'.

Gary Evans

Recorded at Angel Studios,
London. March 2008.

Nick adds at the end of the liner notes “We missed Andy Smith dearly” Andy Smith, trombone player with the NRO, died 2010.

Andy Smith

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