The smoky swing of 1930s Paris will be charged by the 21st-century powerhouse that is the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra next weekend, when the band is set to be joined by the celebrated guitarist Martin Taylor MBE to celebrate the music of one of the most seminal figures in jazz and popular music, Django Reinhardt.
With his formidable technique, Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of Reinhardt’s music, his empathy with it honed by more than a decade of playing with Reinhardt’s Hot Club de France partner, the late Stephane Grappelli, and through his group Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django.
“We want to recreate the atmosphere of Paris back in the Jazz Age,” the guitarist says of the forthcoming concerts, “but we’re going to give it a few little twists inspired by my group Spirit of Django by adding accordion [Karen Street], as well as paying homage to Stephane by adding violin [Christian Garrick].”Read more
Three Thomases – Tom, Tommie and Tam – got the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s retrospective tribute to the late, great Tom McGrath off to a belter of a start on Friday night.
Tom McGrath, himself, was the source of the words and the inspiration for the tunes – all were compositions by jazz artistes he brought to Scotland; Tommy Smith and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra interpreted the tunes; while Tam Dean Burn spoke and yowled and crooned those words over and in and amongst the notes.
There will be jazz orchestra concerts that create much bigger musical storms and specifically Scottish National Jazz Orchestra concerts that feature more familiar instrumentation. This one, though, has to go down as particularly special. It was the sort of occasion that illustrates how there’s no substitute for being in the room where and when the music is being played, even when that music features on iconic recordings.Read more
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra stopped off at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh tonight as part of an all too short performance schedule performing “Sketches of Spain” and “Porgy & Bess”. These two visionary collaborations between Miles Davis and Gil Evans marked a watershed point in the critics’ and public’s perception of Jazz as a musical form and both remain as fresh and vibrant now as when they were originally recorded nearly 60 years ago.
The SNJO covered both albums with Gerard Presencer early in its history. This time around, the now internationally celebrated orchestra features another guest trumpeter, plus a stalwart of their own, with Sketches being fronted by the acclaimed young player Laura Jurd, currently a BBC New Generation Artist, while Porgy and Bess turns the spotlight full on the SNJO’s longest-standing member (along with founder-director Tommy Smith), Tom MacNiven.
A great CD Review from Dan McClenaghan for All About jazz