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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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NIGEL WADDINGTON

Bigger Pictures -
The Art of Nigel Waddington

Cala CACD 77011

 

 


1. You Got It
2. I Fly
3. Is This a Rainbow
4. Talking to Thomas
5. Bigger Pictures
6. September
7. Jazz Chops, No Hang-Ups
8. Lantern on the Stern
9. James
10. Like Someone In Love
11. Tristesse Lili Boulanger
12. For Dave

Big band, orchestra and soloists arranged by Nigel Waddington

Featured soloists:
Steve Waterman - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Martin Shaw - Flugelhorn
Derek Watkins - Trumpet
Paul Taylor - Trombone
Richard Pywell - Trombone
Greg Heath - Tenor sax
Sam Mayne - Alto sax
Colin Crawley - Tenor sax
Rob Hughes - Tenor sax
Chris Redgate - Cor anglais
Dave Ital - Guitar
John Blackwell - Guitar
Julian Jackson - Harmonica
Rob Taggart - Keyboards
Phil Peskett - Piano
David Frankel - Piano
John Horler - Piano
Chris Dagley - Drums
Claire Martin - Vocals
Jacqui Hicks - Vocals

 

Nigel Waddington is a new name to me. He is a British trumpet player who has become increasingly involved in arranging and composing in the jazz, pop and classical music worlds. This CD is an eclectic collection of his arrangements for jazz band, woodwinds, brass and strings plus a handful of solo/duo pieces for good measure. Eight of the twelve tracks are Waddington originals and reflect his catholic tastes and some of his musical influences.

The first track on this CD, You Got It, is untypical of the remainder, being an undistinguished, repetitive jazz-funk piece powered by the late Chris Dagley's rock-style drumming. Lush strings and woodwind introduce I Fly, an attractive song enhanced by Claire Martin's romantic, smoky-voiced interpretation. Sam Mayne, one of the UK jazz scene's most promising talents, brings his rich alto sound to the ballad Is This a Rainbow, and there is imaginative use of brass and woodwind on the title-track.

There are three short solos or duos which act as intervals between the big band and orchestral tracks. Of these, by far the most interesting musically is the rarely-featured cor anglais and piano duo, September. The other two are unmemorable piano solos by David Frankel or John Horler.

Jazz Chops, No Hang-Ups, a tribute to Steely Dan, features vocal arrangements in the Manhattan Transfer mould plus a spunky guitar solo by John Blackwell. Waddington acknowledges his debt to composer Malcolm Arnold on Lantern on the Stern with the excellent Martin Shaw playing a reflective flugelhorn solo. Claire Martin returns with sumptuous strings for the Burke-Van Heusen ballad Like Someone In Love and the CD comes to a stirring end with a tribute to the late Dave Plews, a much-respected session trumpeter.

In a brief endorsement in the sleeve-notes, Mike Gibbs asks where has Mr. Waddington been? It's time he was out and about, he adds. I agree.

This CD contains some very fine writing for conventional big band and the fuller resources of strings, brass and woodwind. The sleeve-note indicates that the recordings were made over a six-year period. Let us hope it's not another six years before Nigel Waddington is heard from again.

George Stacy



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