Rhapsody In Blue

2006   |   Spartacus Records
  • Rhapsody In Blue
    by George Gershwin (53:57)
buy the music

About this album

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s Rhapsody in Blue takes George Gershwin’s classic jazz age concerto on an unprecedented adventure.

Re-orchestrated by SNJO director, saxophonist Tommy Smith, this Rhapsody in Blue of the twenty-first century was written to feature Scotland’s world-class jazz pianist Brian Kellock, who played the original Rhapsody as a music student in Edinburgh in 1981.

Familiar themes, including the iconic clarinet glissando and Gershwin’s heartbreaking nostalgic refrain, have been used – respectfully – as source material and reworked into a fifty-two minute epic that flows through exciting up-tempo movements, rhapsodic blues passages, a sensational Cuban fantasia and hard swinging jazz choruses, showcasing SNJO’s magnificent ensemble playing and top class, creative soloing.

"taking Gershwin full-bloodedly into the modern era"
The Herald
"Tommy Smith is not one to do things by half measures."
The Scotsman
The Irish Times
"Heard at the Brecon Jazz Festival three years ago, this seemed an absolute model for big-band projects, with Tommy Smith's re-orchestration of Gershwin's original played with love and passion by a very young group, and piano soloist Brian Kellock showing his genius for differing idioms throughout."
The independent


  1. posted on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:36 PM  |  reply

    Utterly brilliant and Brian Kellock is a personal favourite.

    Many thanks for making these albums available on Emusic for download!!

    • Lindsay
      posted on Mar 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM  |  reply

      Thanks David for great comments. If you want to hear it live and yet another version by Tommy, we are playing it at the end of April with the brilliant Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone in 3 concerts. Together with our newest commission – Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto!!! see our website or like facebook

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

'The SNJO deserved all the praise Kurt Elling so graciously lavished on them.'

Sponsors: We thank our sponsors Creative Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Dundee Council for their continued support as well as the management teams at our regular venues, The Queen's Hall: Edinburgh, The Music Hall: Aberdeen, Eden Court: Inverness and Caird Hall: Dundee.

Creative ScotlandRoyal Conservatoire of ScotlandDundee CouncilThe Queen's Hall: EdinburghThe Music Hall: AberdeenEden Court: Inverness