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Tommy Smith’s jazz version of Peter and the Wolf will remain true to Prokofiev’s premise that particular instruments are allocated to each character and the wonderful melodies will be lovingly preserved whilst actor Tam Dean Burn will narrate new text specially adapted by Liz Lochhead.
It’s time to swing again, as the SNJO celebrate jazz legends Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Pivotal to the evolution of orchestral jazz, Basie and Ellington created music that defined an era. The SNJO have chosen to feature two of their landmark albums in this concert, The Atomic Mr Basie and Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige.Read more
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) under the direction of Tommy Smith continue their rich vein of form with this superb rendition of Kenny Wheeler’s Sweet Sister Suite, originally commissioned some 20 years ago and now finally out on CD.Read more
THE Scottish National Jazz Orchestra is making a habit of championing under-sung heroes. Firstly, with its reworking of Bobby Wellins’ long neglected Culloden Moor Suite and now with this piece, which SNJO director Tommy Smith commissioned from the great British-Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, the orchestra has paid tribute to two musician-composers, neither of whom would have thought about pushing himself to the front of any queues but who both made music of sometimes quiet but notably marked strength and originality.
In 1996, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s director, Tommy Smith commissioned the late Kenny Wheeler to write a suite which, some twenty years on, has been recorded by the seventeen-piece big band. Joining the all-star line-up on this Spartacus Records’ album are Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice).
The history of jazz is littered with tales of unsung heroes and overlooked genius. It could be argued that trumpeter and composer, the late Kenny Wheeler was one such musician. He moved almost invisibly through the mainstream milieu, yet, he was universally admired by his peers for his important contributions to jazz composition.Read more