Reviews of Manchester Jazz Festival gig

An amazing Sunday afternoon set from the Music For Life Big Band - a fantastically accomplished 25-piece of young players from Cheshire ... This important Arts Council-funded project skilfully played out a lively programme of new commissions by contemporary composers ... with the inspirational Walker providing great entertainment, yet never overshadowing the whole ... and some strikingly mature improvisation from one of the band's young trombonists.

- Adrian Pallant, London Jazz

This one turned out to be a real kicker of a gig, going down a storm with a full teepee audience. Rightly so I say, as it was a fantastic set with great compositions and arrangements played really well by the big band, with excellent improvising added for good measure ... 'No Matter What' from Mike Gibbs was the perfect set closer, some strident trombone playing sending us off with big smiles on our faces. Top stuff.

- Adrian Stevenson, The Ring Modulator

Impressively tight ensemble work, mature dynamic awareness, compelling rhythmic sensitivity and of course their infectious enthusiasm for making music together. Then of course there were the newly commissioned works - all of which the band devoured with precision and flair ... the entire project is an overwhelming success story. My heartfelt congratulations go to everyone involved.

- Steve Mead, Director, Manchester Jazz Festival