Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - RCS, Glasgow
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After all, a programme of family favourites ranging from classic cartoons to movie blockbusters played by a young, dynamic band sounded just the ticket for music-mad youngsters. And, indeed, when SNJO director Tommy Smith announced the titles featured in the opening medley, it was the nine-year-old critical support team beside me whose “yaaaaas!” turned heads at the mention of Superman.
The main problem was the arrangements: if you didn’t warm to Pino Jodice’s reworkings of the tunes, then you’d pretty much had it for the evening, as he was responsible for most of them. The most enjoyable numbers were the ones in which the melody didn’t get swamped by the arrangement, and which stayed closest to the original versions – Manha Manha, from the Muppets (complete with hilarious Animal impersonation by drummer Alyn Cosker), The Flintstones and, especially, the Star Trek theme.
That last-mentioned featured the dazzling vocals of guest star Jacqui Dankworth and went down so well that it was repeated as an encore, after a glorious Somewhere Over the Rainbow, one of only a handful of songs in which Dankworth’s sublime voice was showcased rather than seeming to be in competition with the overbearing arrangements.