National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, publicity photo

If you came expecting ‘The Chicken’ etc, then you were at the wrong gig.

This was a night for original music, superbly played by this lively and talented outfit under the leadership of Andrew Bain and Malcolm Edmonstone.

The first half was a tribute to two much-loved Scottish musicians who died recently — the great tenor player Duncan Lamont and trombonist Rick Taylor (Isle of Skye by way of Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Both made a significant contribution to the orchestra’s work over the years and the set included several of their compositions, including parts of Lamont’s ‘Carnival of the Animals’ which featured some fine reed section work.

There are some excellent soloists in this band — in fact everybody gets a turn. No names were given but when next you see them look out for an impressive soprano saxophone player.

Yazz Ahmed, press shot

After the jazz came the Yazz — namely Yazz Ahmed. The British-Bahraini trumpet and flugelhorn player is also recognised for her original compositions. With a superb tone which she supplements by heavy echo and reverb effects, her whole sound has been described as a kind of psychedelic Arabic jazz. The orchestra shone once more, handling some tricky arrangements and driven by a powerful rhythm section.

After Belfast, it’s Sligo’s turn. The whole outfit have now headed west where they’ll be an exciting addition to this year’s Sligo Jazz Project.

Keith Baker