Norman Chalmers pinpoints the
hottest beds of jazz.
Jazz spreads all through Edinburgh‘s August celebrations. finding its way to the Festival Club. Fringe Club. Book Festival and all the other major venues. And all this activity is outwith the two major jazz events. the McEwan‘s International Jazz Festival (15—22 Aug) and Round Midnight (9—22 Aug). The McEwan‘s event deploys an increasingly vast army of performers. with few exceptions within the New Orleans. Dixieland. Trad. Swing and Mainstream traditions. while Round Midnight is the Platform ofcontemporary jazz and blues— even salsa and funk.
The McEwan's event is a massive affair. with hundreds of performances. and the programme is a necessity if one wants to make a dedicated attempt to take it all in. It is on sale. with records. T-shirts and tickets for all venues at the Jazz Festival Headquarters. Royal Overseas League. Princes Street. from midday till 11pm. the Jazz Festival Office. 116 Canongate. every Mon—Fri 10am—5pm. 557 1642557 1548 or at any branch of John Menzies £1. Free evenings ofjazz can be heard in the following pubs: Doocot. Merlin, Basin Street. Fairmile Inn. Old Highwayman. Sighthill Hotel. Drones. Cramond Brig. Rob Roy. Waterloo. Peartree. Granary and Preservation Hall. Full details in the programme. A l()()()-seat Big Top is set up on the Meadows as a week-long venue and the Spicgeltent in Charlotte Square will host a regular programme. The Dragonara. and the Caledonian Hotel‘s Platform 1 also take a number of MIJF concert. but the main line-ups will take place in two venues — The Cotton Club. the Student Centre Bristo Square and the Jazz Amphitheatre. Lothian Road. Four Jazz balls and eight concerts take place in these venues over the week, the Sunday opening with Humphrey Lyttelton. Acker Bilk. Kansas City All Stars. Bob Wilber and many more. A pick of the concerts would include Tue 18th‘s Amphitheatre Salute To Fats Waller And Sidney Bechet. with the Grammy
him, a oozen oi those as leader and is respected as one oi the few white I musicians who reallyteel the blues, and by the jazz and rock worlds as a superb j technician.Sharingthe ; stage on Round Midnight's . 5 blues night 14th is
I Louisiana Bed. Raised by
l his grandmother in New
Orleans, his mother having died when he was aweek . old and his iatherlynched - l by the KKK, the blues has i been his lite, working through the Fiitles with 3 John Lee Hooker, and the " ; Sixties with Jimmy Reed. OI
3 him it was said ‘. . . likethe great bluesmen oi the past,
Admired by Nowlin' Wait, I he has the ability to make a Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy ! guitartalk and a hannonlca Williamson, Otis Spann and j
cry.‘ John Lee Hooker, Charlie MusselthIe is probably the FESTWAL JAZZ greatest living blues The Jiving Lindyhoppers
harmonica player. Still in his early lorties, he has three score albums behind
are a tour-piece male/female jazz dance outfit with quite a law slots
award winning clarinettist Bob Wilber; the excellent sax ofJim Galloway‘s All Stars:
wonderful stride and boogie pianist Ralph Sutton with the equally fluent guitar of Al Casey and the
Pizza Express All Stars. Same place. on the Wednesday has a Jump and Jive Night and the Tommy Chase Quintet will hammer out their relentless hard bop behind the Jiving
Lindyhoppers dance group: Groove Juice Special who play 40s" into Be Bop: Fat Sam's Band. again
into Louis Jordan style songs and music: and the Al Casey/Ralph Sutton Jump Band. The Cotton Club on Tuesday has a Big Band Night. four bands including the Kansas City All Stars. . . Buddy Tate returning to Edinburgh. joins his tenor with legendary pianist Jay McShann, Grover Mitchell. trombone; Al Casey on guitar;
Lillian Boutte. vocals; Harry Edison and Johnny
Letman. trumpets: Reggie Johnson. bass: and Oliver Jackson. drums. Not a big Big Band, but chock full ofswing talent. Tucked away in the programme are more interesting innovations in gigs by young post-hoppers Tommy Smith of the Clark Tracey Quintet featuring Guy Barker‘s
trumpet. Clark‘s pianist father with the enduring
and evolving Stan Tracey Trio. showing the breadth of music now encompassed in the ninth year of Edinburgh‘s jazz melting pot. Meanwhile Platform‘s Round Midnight has its strongest Festival bill yet. and allows a broad definition ofjazz over the eight concerts. Jan
during the McEwan’s Festival and a lunchtime residency 7—16th atthe Gilded Balloon. Emotive Locomotion is their celebration oi authentic American between-the- wars street dancing pushed along by a great BBB harmonica band led by Alexis Comer harp player David Michelson. Proving A Point isthe purpose oithe collaboration between IDJ (I Dance Jazz), a startlingly agile and rhythmically subtle all-male trio oi contemporary movers, and The Steve Williamson Quintet. IDJ were quite stunning In the Iilm otthe Soho Jazz Festival, powering along in Iront oi Tommy Chase, and ior these two Queen’s Nail concerts, Williamson, the most powertul oi the young black saxophonists, with a CV that includes reggae band Misty In Boots as well
as the Jazz Warriors, has written the music.
ON THE FRINGE
DI the Fringe jazz, two young tenor players stand out. Courtney Pine isthe most prominent jazz player in the country atthe moment, in vogue with an increasing young audience and playing innumerable rock venues throughoutthe land with a straight quartet. The quality isn't compromised and he spearheads a revival of interest in jazz amongthe young blacks in Britain. Buster Brown's, Market Street, is the venue ior New YorkJazz. the name Bill Kyle gives to the groups he brings over each yearlrom the States. This yearthe drummer has installed in hislront line another peripatetic Scotsman, Tommy Smith. Soon to be striking out on his own Irom
Garbarek's intense distinctive tone and modal melodic constructions on soprano and tenor come with unique bassist and long term sympathetic collaborator Eberhard Weber. Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconceles. and Lars Jansson on piano. Garbarek is one of todays great individual jazz voices. an icy flame from Scandinavia.
Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers are welcome anywhere on the planet. and return for the second time in a year to Edinburgh. the sell-out standing ovations for this intoxicating hard bop paternalist collective obviously to be repeated.
Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra is a passionate musical time bomb based on freedom songs and anthems in uncompromising arrangements by one of the few women at the top level ofjazz— Carla Bley. Ornett Coleman‘s bassist and an energetic catalyst. l-laden brings a superb group including Dewey Redman on sax and Paul Motian on the drums.
Steve Williamson‘s Quintet with the fast and flexible IDJ dancers will give a taste of the very hip young London scene. He is. with Courtney Pine. the high profile ofemerging black jazz in Britain, looking over its shoulder to the Coltrane era but in Williamson's case more than mono-dimensional. Lionel Hampton‘s Big Band is unusual for Platform. based round the vibraphonist’s vigorous. obvious lasting love of the music and the unique excitement of a large outfit. full steam ahead. and swinging.
Charlie Musselwhitc. the white King ofthe harmonica. the blues harp. teams with Louisiana Red on guitar/vocals and is supported by ‘Gentleman’ Jim Condie‘s Edinburgh-based band. in a night of American blues.
Gil Scott-Heron has come through blues and soul. and has a large following for his concerts of contemporary politicalsoul songs. satirical rapping and out and out funk and jazz/rock. Sound to move to. as is El Sonido De Londres. whose nine-piece salsa filled the floor at the Queen‘s hall last time round. . . all percussion. timbales. reeds. brass and powerful. happy macho vocals.
Platform‘s Roger Spence‘s aim is to ‘fill the halls and put on the best music around. . . consolidate Scotland‘s position on the world jazz map.’ For most of these concerts. tickets are quickly going to be in short supply! Tickets from Queen‘s Hall. Usher Hall. Virgin Records and Fringe Box Office.
Two cool ladies' voices can be heard in two venues at the heart of the Old Town. Demarco Productions,Blacktriars Street Gallery, presents
the Gary Burton group, Tommy epitomiseslorward motion, opening up a career as an international soloist and group leader, andjust into his twenties! With Kyle
and Smith come Mitch Musicology II. Melanie Stein, guitar; Joe Locke, 5 0'38"” Willi FfaﬂClS vibraphone and Amado Cowan. gurtar. Fluent and auonnano, bass. controlled, they reveal a suphisticated taste tor a well tumed lyric and deft, SOUNDS AROUND sometimes surprising Sweet Honey In The Rock, arrangements in a Assembly Rooms mainstream, authentic jazz
27th-29th, are the amazing Style- The Gilded Balloon.
American black women’s beside the 369 Gallery In group Ilrst broughtover the Cowgate presents here by the Smithsonian Brown Blues, comedian Institute two Festivals ago N00” 3'0"" and "1°
to capacity audiences. bluesy 80008 O'BMJUMT Freedom songs and and, on guitar, Michael
Parker. With more than a
spirituals, women's songs , hint onau colourin his
and satire are arranged in
mesmerislng harmony, PTOIITBSSIOHS 80!! With her occasionally with simple Power!“ W delicate vol“. percussion and peﬂormgd their songs have an easy but
lasting appeal, real-lite situations given a delicious twist. (Norman Chalmers)
with an untamed delight that brings an intimacy with the largest audience.
The List 7 — 20 August 31