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.
Miles Davis and Gil Evans gifted Porgy & Bess and Sketches of Spain to jazz as vibrant, sultry and enormously satisfying pieces of modern music including such tracks as Summertime and It Ain’t Necessarily So. Read more