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It is difficult to imagine musical life in Edinburgh without the Queen‘s Hall. yet only 11) years ago this prestigious and important venue. one of the most frequently used independent concert halls in Britain and the premier jazz venue outside London. was still the disused Parish (‘hurch of Newington and St Leonard‘s. As the 1 [all gets ready to celebrate its lilth birthday. CAROL MAIN takes a look at its past. its present and its possible future.

Designed by Robert Brown in 1833. the building was taken over by the Scottish Philharmonic Society in 1976 when the church congregation was dissolved. and this summer completes its first decade as a concert hall. the exact anniversary falling on (iJuly. the date it was

34'1‘he List 16— Z‘Hune 198‘)

opened by the Queen in 197‘). Since then. the Hall has been host not only to classical and jazz concerts. but to rock concerts. conferences. recording sessions. wedding receptions (my own included) and. demonstrating its enormous diversity. the European Bodybuilders ('hampionships including Mr Europe and Miss Physique ~only a couple of w eeks ago.

The gala events to celebrate the 111th birthday are more in keeping with the Hall‘s usual and. one would suspect. preferred image. starting with a ‘scratch’ performance of (armina Burana. ’l‘here is a special concert on 6 July itself by the S(’(). who see the Hall as home not only for their Edinburgh concert seasons. but also for rehearsals. receptions and recordings. .lazz joins in the party spirit with (‘arol Kidd and Joe 'l‘emperley plus Swing 8‘) on 311 June.

But. perhaps most interesting of all. is the concert the previous night (2‘) June). which is an attempt at reconstructing the programme for the very first concert. and brings together the S(‘(). the Scottish Philharmonic Singers. the Scottish Ensemble (all three under the

Scottish Phillfiirmonic Society‘s wing

mm '

I is I. r. ~

when the Hall first opened). Leonard Friedman. ex-director of the SE. and conductor Roderick Brydon.

Friedman was involved right from the start. testing the acoustic. raising much of the money required. and later playing with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble. as it was then. to packed houses. In spite of this. he has his reservations. ‘As a sentimental Edinburgh citizen 1 still miss the Freemasons. where one heard some of the greatest artists of the 211th century. People like Pierre Fournier. and Dennis Brain making his Edinburgh Festival debut. L'nl‘orgettablef

"I’he Queen's l lall also put paid to ad hoc places like Ledlanet and Auchtertyre.‘ Friedman continues. ‘but of course the main advocacy of people in favour of the Queen‘s Hall was that what the standard artists were offering at these places was embarrassingly high for the conditions. And the new orchestras needed somewhere to perform. so altogether the time was right.’

He finds the hall disappointing for

the spoken word. and thinks thafl fallsbetween the two stools ofsalon style intimacy on one hand. and the chandeliered splendour of continental hallson the other. ‘A string quartet in the round. with the platform removed.‘ he says ‘would show the Hall to its best advantage. and that‘s not yet been understood.‘

The Hall has just appointed a new manager. Simon Crookall. He is not unaware of the dangers of complacency. realising that some customers particularly those presenting contemporary music to small audiences— are going elsewhere because ofthe hire charges. currently in excess off-120, and he‘d like to encourage them back. He'd also like to promote concerts. see the restaurant used more. develop the empty diary spaces in July and Septemberfand. perhaps most of all. find a shop front fora box office in (‘lerk Street. First. though. comes a £31X1.()()() backstage development starting in September and. says (‘rookalL "l'he general feellling is that things are going very we .


Saxophonist Joe 'l‘emperley left his native l-‘ife for New York in 1965. gambling on being able to make a living as a professional jazz musician in the cut-throat but thriving jazz scene in that city. Almost a quarter century later. Joe is back to play two prestigious concerts in Scotland. and is the subject of two hour-long films from the award-winning (ilasgow-based company Pelicula l‘ilmS.

‘I liked the idea that the film-makers were willing to give me (‘(lr!(’-/)/(lli(’/l(’ in picking the musicians. and f in the musical direction of the whole project.‘ Joe told me. I have put together a number of different groups for the filming. including a band with trumpeter Buck (‘layton. an Ellington segment. a bebop band



ofthe most successful of j all Scottish jazzmen on the international scene. He arrives in Scotland in the middle of a busy period. including shooting the film. and recording sessions with Wynton Marsalis. Benny (.‘arter. Buck Clayton. and a symphonic Ellington piece ‘I am really looking forward to playing here. I haven't played with Humphrey for five or six years— in fact. [haven't played much over here at all in the last few years. 1 i don't think 1 have ever played with Carol Kidd before. so that will be something new for me.‘

Joe 'I‘emperley plays (he , Glasgow/(1:: Festival. Theatre Royal. 2511me.

and the Queen '5 I {all [01h A nniversarv ( ‘mrcerr. 30

June (see main feature).

Kenny Mathieson welcomes

Kenny Garrett's acerbic altosaxophone. (KM)


Norman Chalmers checks outthe new Folk

I MICHEALO SUILLEABHAIN: Oilean/Island (Virgin Venture) A ravishing suite composed by () Suilleabhan. incorporating a few traditional airs. reminiscent of Keith Jarrett‘s arrangements for Jan Garbarek and string orchestra. but with the eerily beautiful flute of Matt Malloy hovering over the Irish (‘hamber Orchestra. The poet ofthe button-box. Tony MacMahon joins his distinctive free reed with the strings. and old friends Mel Mercier and (‘olm Murphy supply perctission. His last album. The Dolphin '3 Way. showed his

with .limmy Heath and an overdue Miles Davis "1“‘Chlcsst“'cnf""m° . Slide 1 lampton. and a release : pmm)‘ but the ( Mk mus'c group with sortie younger I MILES DAVIS: Amandla ! PrOfC—‘M’r has now players. like the (WEA) Miles ; released an exquisitely

saxophonist Ralph Moore. who was actually born in London.‘

'I'emper/ey '3 'I‘mwt is in post-production for eventual screeningon ('hannel 4. but fans ofthe saxophonist‘s smooth. powerful melodic style can catch him with his former employer Humphrey l.yttelton and singer (’arol Kidd in (ilasgow . and with the singerand an all-star Scottish Big Band in Edinburgh.

.loe's association with. among many others. Woody Herman. Buddy Rich. the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Band. ('harles Mingus. and Duke Ellington makes him one

two previous

Marcus Miller.

much-anticipated new record. the first in two years. is dedicated to the late (iil Evans. and falls happily into the heavily jazz-funk groove of the

collaborations with arranger and bass maestro

musical idiom is very different. Miller‘s unhurried arrangements and precise production echo the balance between trumpet and instrumental textures achieved by Evans on the classic 1950s releases with the trumpeter. laying down bright. surging swathes of orchestral sound behind the leader‘s majestic. understated horn and

scored. faultlessly performed expression of the Irish musical spirit. with universal appeal. Sean () Riada will be smilingin his grave. I DICK GAUGHAN: Call It Freedom (Celtic Music) (iaughan is in his best form for years. and this album mixes superb solo guitar. band numbers with pipes. sax and the works.

} simple song and guitar

j arrangements.andhis

| clear. passionate vocal

delivery. The songs are all

modern. written by Dick

and others. including Phil

()chs and Woody Guthrie.

His politics and

perspective are there. of

1 course. but not rammed

j down your throat. Dick