For those of you that don't know, the London Jazz Orchestra is Noel Langley's (lonelyangel) band. I managed to catch up with them at their monthly slot at the Vortex in London, and I'm glad I did! Noel asked me to write a review, so here are some of my thoughts about what was a great evening. To satisfy your curiosity, and to get the most important part out first, the band included a trumpet section of: Noel Langley, Henry Lowther, Jay Phelps, and someone whose name I can't remember (sorry!). Both Noel and Jay were playing Eclipses (first time I've seen one of these - they really do look even nicer in real life) and these horns sounded as nice as they looked. The ensemble sections were very tight, and there was some great sizzling high-note playing complimented equally well by the luscious basement provided by a bass-trombone, bass-clarinet and baritone. Most of the material the band played was original, featuring the premiere of the band director's (whose name I can't recall) "Travels Suite", and several compositions / arrangements by Henry Lowther. I was struck by the interesting orchestration and great themes featured in these compositions, which were always supported by a driving, swinging rhythm section. I came in a little early, and caught the band rehearsing some tunes, one of which had only just been introduced to them - I would not have known had it not been announced. There were some fantastic solos played by Henry Lowther, who really dug into the changes one one of his own tunes, "E-mona" (I think), and one from Jay Phelps in the "Travels Suite", whose luscious tone and elegant control was, for me, reminiscent of a New Orleans flavoured Clifford Brown. It was great to catch up with and hear Noel Langley play with such a good band. I can safely say that his reputation is well-deserved - watching the LJO, I was reminded of the Bernie Glow quote that Larry Giani posted in the East/West Coast post: "To be a good lead trumpet player, as I mentioned before, you donâ€™t stick out. Sticking out in an ensemble is making people come in and say â€œOh, listen to that lead trumpet player, isnâ€™t he great. Itâ€™s not your function. Your function is to have people walk in and sayâ€ Oh, listen to that band, doesnâ€™t it sound wonderful." I certainly thought they sounded wonderful.