arts from south of the border, the boot moves onto the other foot this month as BBC Scotland exports top music man Mike Newman to London to produce a new series of TV recordings ofthe complete Beethoven Symphonies. Starting on 14 March in Hampstead. the programmes mark the ﬁrst BBC Beethoven cycle since the early 705. It is a particularly interesting one. in that the orchestra is the London Classical Players under Roger Norrington. a group becoming increasingly well known for their authentic style performances on instruments of the period. Look out for transmission on BBC 2 in late autumn. (Carol Main)
The seemingly endless stream of impressive new British saxophonists— Tommy Smith. Andy Sheppard, Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson. Iain Ballamy ct al — must now also include the name of Dave O‘Higgins.
His mercurial, high energy saxophone style has already pleased Scottish jazz fans during his stint with Bill Kyle‘s Atlantic Bridge at last year‘s Glasgow Jazz Festival, but he is better known in the south for his contributions to his award winning trio Gang of Three, and as a member of the highly-rated jazz-rock outfit Roadside Picnic, who visit the Queen‘s Hall on 10 March. As Dave explains, he modifies his approach in the more structured context of Roadside Picnie‘s music, most of which is written by bass player Mario Castronari.
‘Those other settings you cited, like with Bill Kyle or the Gang of Three, are both very hard-blowing situations. In the Gang. for example, what we are doing is essentially modernised bebop, with a few funky things thrown in, and with Bill, I was playing with Joe Locke ,, who exudes a high amount of energy, and I had to rise to that. I think Roadside Picnic is more compositionally oriented, rather than a blowing band, and my own approach within that is more inﬂuenced by a player like I an Garbarek .‘
Given his pop star looks and charismatic playing.
: O’Higginsinevitably but 7 unwillingly tends to be '2 seen asthe front manin
‘That‘s always a problem. particularly given that Mario is the
mentor behind the band.
and writes all the material as well , and is responsible for the general direction of the band. Saxophone players, though, always tend to be the ones who attract the attention. a bit like being a singer in a pop group. That‘s wrong,
. though. It‘s very
important with Roadside that it is looked upon as a
collective thing. I seem to
have become the band spokesman, but that doesn‘t reflect the others‘ musical contribution.‘ Roadside Picnic‘s music is strongly reminiscent of Weather Report‘s highly
' structured, textural
Compositions, but draws on a diverse range of additional sources, from late Romantics to avant
, garde rock, to augment : their basic jazz-rock
groove. See Records and Listings. (Kenny Mathieson)
Roadside Picnic are at Edinburgh Queen ’5 Hall on March 10.
; Joe Alexander lives mm 9 Jan groove
I TOMMY SMITH: Step By Step (Blue Note
Smith’s debut album for the new Blue Note International offshoot represents an important step forward for the Edinburgh saxophonist. Recorded in New York with four well-established musicians, including drummer Jack DeJohnette and guitarist John Scofield, and produced by Gary Burton the album contains six of Tommy's own distinctive compositions (eight on CD). The most
g immpressive of these is ' the haunting Time Piece,
while the playing
5 throughout is of a , uniformly high standard,
although there is no real
sense that his temporary
MUSIC THIS ISSUE
CLASSICAL 29 FOLK 31 FOLK FEST 32
JAZZ 39 ROCK 41 LISTEN 45
Next Issue: In a funky groove!
sidemen are unduly stretching themselves. Nonetheless, this is a significant boost for the player, and an enjoyable snapshot of where he stands at this still-early stage of his career.
I MARTIN TAYLOR: Sarabande (Gala Records) The Ayr-based guitarist's ‘new‘ album was actually recorded two years ago. and has been the subject of various frustrating delays ever since. Sadly. it proves to be a very mixed bag. There are a couple of beautiful solo guitar pieces, a format in which Martin excells, including a wonderful version of I Remember Clifford, and fans of Stephane Grappelli will enjoy his
contribution to the record.
Elsewhere, though, Taylor is featured in a dull electro-jazz context with some languid West Coast session players. which is just about the last thing he needs, given his own tendency to a laid back approach. What he really wants is a hard-driving rhythm section which will push him. Next time, maybe?
I ROADSIDE PICNIC: Roadside Picnic (RCA HMS) Debut album from the highly rated London jazz-rock quartet. It is a little too smoothly in the groove for my tastes, drawing heavily on the example of Wayne Shorter and Weather Report, but overlaid with a more distinctively European sound — there is no mistaking them forjust another bunch of high-tech American jazz-rockers. Saxophonist Dave O’Higgins plays in a more subdued manner than in some of his other bands - compare this with his contribution to the recent Jazz Cafe live sampler, for example — but ﬁts neatly enough into Mario Castronari‘s highly textured, carefully organised structures.
I VARIOUS: The Freedom Principle (Urban) Stand-out contributions come from the brilliant
. Steve Williamson,who
just gets better and better, and surely must sign a major record deal soon, and pianist Jason Rebello. well-known in these parts from his association with Tommy Smith. Cleveland Watkiss gives the best performance I have yet heard from him, and one which augers well for the singer‘s imminent debut album, while the superb young pianist from Shefﬁeld, Paul Reid, contributes a remarkable solo to Slow Fuse‘s otherwise pedestrian effort. In the more directly dance oriented selections, David Toop’s Black Dahlia makes a particularly strong impression.
photo caption: Costume designs (by Carolyn Coxon) tor Planctus Mariae
SCOTTISH EARLY MUSIC CONSORT
For their last programme this season the Scottish Early Music Consort go to the appropriately ecclesiastical venues
printed programme brings the orchestra‘s
I The Gondoliers King‘s Theatre. Tickets: 227 5511 (Ticket Centre). 7.30pm. Extra date: Sat 11. £1—£4.50. The Orpheus Club in Gilbert and Sullivan‘s popular comic opera.
I Scottish Early Music Consort Glasgow Cathedral. Tickets: 332 5057 (RSAMD). 8pm. Extra date: Sat 11, Edinburgh. £4.50/£6 (£2.50). Two medieval music dramas, in costume, Plancrus Mariae and Peregrinus, and in appropriate ecclesiastical settings. Roger Savage is producer and the music is directed by Warwick Edwards.
I New Music Group at Scotland Guinness Room. RSAMD, 100 Renfrew Street. 332 5057. 8pm. £4 (£2.50). Recent music for brass quintet and sextet includes the premiere ofa new work by Lvell Cresswell, Edward Harp! . s Fantasia III and arrangements of Byrd Motets. the quintet by the Polish composer Blazewicz and Lutoslawski‘s Mini-Overture. The concert is directed by Edward Harper.
Street, 229 1201. 7.30pm. Extra date: Sat
Company in Offenbach‘s colourful Operetta. I SNO Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 228
Glasgow. £2.70—£1 l .50 (standby £2.50).
of Glasgow Cathedral and Old St
Paul’s. Edinburgh to present a rather
I BBC 880 Stevenson Hall. RSAMD, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 12. 15pm. £4.50 (£2.75/£2.25/£1 ). Change to advance
new guest conductor Takuo Yuasa and
Ravel's Valses Nobles e! Sentimentales. the Dance Suite by Bartok and Beethoven‘s
I La Vie Parislenne King‘s Theatre . Leven
11. £2—£5. Southern Light Opera
1155. 7.30pm. Extra date: Sat 1 l.
unusual evening oi two medieval music dramas, Planctus Mariae and
Peregrinus. Both are based on Iamiliar biblical stories, the first being the Lament oi Mary depicting the group of mourners at the tool at the cross and the second, Peregrinus, which tells oi the two disciples meeting Christ on the road to Emmaus. Put together by producer Roger Savage and musical director Warwick Edwards, the result
will be a near authentic recreation, in lull costume, oi the originals, especially Planctus Mariae which even gives detailed handwritten stage
instructions on the 14th century manuscript. Traditionally given an annual perlormance at the Cathedral oi Cividale del Fruili in northern Italy, the music is unaccompanied plainsong, although instruments at the period, including such delights as rebecs, viella, recorders, harp and organ, will be used to provide entertainment on both sides at the dramas. (Carol Main) Scottish Early Music Consort, Friday 10 at 8pm, Glasgow Cathedral and Saturday11 at 8pm, Old St Paul‘s, Edinburgh.
I Music is listed as diary: by day. then by city. then by event.
Peter Eros conducts Mahler‘s Symphony No 6.
I The Gondoliers King‘s Theatre. Tickets: 227 5511 (Ticket Centre). 2.30pm and 7.30pm. £1—£4.50. See Fri 10 for full description.
I Organ Recital Glasgow University Chapel. Free at door. 3pm. Roger Fisher of Chester Cathedral plays works by JS. Bach. Franck, Vierne, Percy Whitlock, Duruﬂe and Juan (‘abanilles
I Milngavie Choir Milngavie Town Hall. Tickets: 956 4635. 7.30pm. Annual concert of light music.
I SRO City Hall, Candleriggs, 227 5511. 7.30pm. £2.50—£1 l .50 (standby £2.50). See Friday 10 for full description.
I La VIC Parisienne King‘s Theatre. Leven Street. 229 1201. 2.30pm and 7.30pm. £2—£5. See Fri 10 for fulldescription.
I Edinburgh Bach Society Queen‘s I la”. Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.45pm. £4 (£2.50). Bach's B minor Mass in the Society‘s Centenary Concert.
I Scottish Early Music Consort Old St Paul‘s Church, Jeffrey Street. Tickets: 668 2019 (Queen‘s Hall Box Office). 8pm. £5 (£2.50). See Fri 10, GlaSgow, for full description.
I Edinburgh Fiddlers Usher Hall. Lothian Road, 228 1 155. 7pm. £1—£5. An evening with the Edinburgh Fiddlers. The Music Box and Pipe Major Gavin Stoddart.
SUNDAY 12 Glasgow
I Glasgow University Choral Society/Orchestra University Chapel. Tickets: at door. 7.30pm. £2 (£1 ). French programme of F aure‘s Cantique delean Racine, Poulenc‘s Organ Concerto (soloist David Hamilton) and the Durufle Requiem with soloists Jennifer Logan and Colin Heggie. Stuart Campbell conducts. I Allander Ensemble Tron Theatre, Trongate, 552 4267/3748. 7.30pm. £3/£4 (£1). Charming chamber music by Mozart, Edward McGuire. Shostakovieh, Saint-Saens and Spohr. I Pops at the Philharmonic City Hall, Candleriggs, 2275511. 7.30pm.£3—£11. Broadway Melody with the City of
The List 10-- 23 March 1989 29