I JAZZ FESTIVAL OPENING PARAOE This year's Parade will end in a spectacular attempt to mount the World's Biggest Jan Band in the Grassmarkel. with some 300 players blasting away on the most hoary of standards.
Regent Road-Princes Street—Grassmarket. 21 Aug. 2pm. Free.
I LE PlAT D'OR JAZZ EN FRANCE A taste of French jazz. including the classical tinge ol the Claude Bolling Big Band. Guy Latitte’s sweet-toned tenor sax. and the Diango-esque melodies ol Pascal le Lyon.
Jazz Pavilion. Meadowbank (McEwan's Jazz Festival Venue 1) 557 1642. 21 Aug. 9pm. £6.50.
I TOMMY SMITH EXPERIENCE Guests Pat Kane and Nigel Clark (see preview) irom Rue and Cry. bass maestro Arild
Andersen, and the John Rae I
Collective join the saxophonist.
Jazz Pavilion, Meadowhank (McEwan's Jan Festival Venue 1) 557 1642. 22 Aug. 9pm. £6.50.
I COURTNEY PINE 0n the eve of the release of his new album. recorded in New York with the influential Marsalis clan. Britain's hottest jazz property introduces his latest line-up to Edinburgh.
Oueen's llall (TOK Round Midnight/Fringe Venue 72) 668 2019.19 Aug. 11pm. £6.50 (£5).
I CAROL KIOO Likely to be standing room only torthe return of the hugely popular singer. who promises some trash material to complement the old favourites.
Oueen's Hall (TOK Round Midnight/McEwan's Jazz Festival Venue 19/Fringe Venue 72), 668 2019. 21 Aug. 9.30pm. £6.50 (£5).
Kenny Mathieson keeps tabs on this year’s jazz coverage. Below — the bigger names and some new faces.
noun RAE couscrrvs IWORLD'S GREATEST Our best contemporary )azz JAZZ BAND'S 218' group. the Collective BIRTHDAY PARTY Dixieland continue to make great '808 8'8 "OlOFlOUSlY strides. and are in excellent dlSllainllll 0' 0108' lm. and company he", alongside won’t mind missing Rollins the sum Tracey animal. tor a nostalgic evening with Acanthus (McEwan's Jazz "'8 VBlefaﬂS- Festival Venue 0) 5571642. 301"th 00mm" 00110" 25 Aug, 7, ppm, 25, CluthcEwan's Jazz
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22 Aug. 8.30pm. £6.
I SHADES OF KENTON/TOMMY SAMPSON ORCHESTRA Authentic soundsto markthe 10th Anniversary of Kenton's death. Scottish veteran Sampson weighs in with Basie and Herman. Queen's ltall (TOK Round Midnight/Fringe Venue 72) 666 2019. 23 Aug. 9.30pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
their pitch from a central note. using what Russell describes as the principle ofchord-seale unity. Russell‘s ideas were instrumental in the
Joe Alexander considers jazz composition with George Russell.
Almost thirty years ago. the George Russell Orchestra recorded a classic record. Jazz in the Space Age. which still sounds fresh today. In tandem with his Sextet records like Ezz—thetic and Stratusphunk. it laid down the practical application of the composer‘s advanced musical theories. as expounded in his inﬂuential book The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organisation, a new and wide-ranging system of grading the intervals in music by the distance of
deveIOpment ofmodal music by the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane (check the classic Kind
ofBlue). as well as in his own relatively intrequent but uniformly impressive output.
Although he is sometimes linked with Gil Evans. Russell makes the point that ‘l‘m not an arranger. I‘m a composer. Gil was an arranger. or a re-composer. ‘ Composers are common enough in jazz. but rare at the level on which Russell works. and rare to the point ofbeing virtually non-existent in the way in which he specialises in writing rather than playing. Isn‘t this an anomaly in jazz history?
‘Not any more. it isn‘t.‘ the composer counters. ‘It‘s changing. and I think there is more emphasis on composition now than at any time in post-war jazz — Ornette Coleman. for example. is a wonderful composer. I think the bebop era emphasised the soloists because they were so brilliant. Ifyou have a Charlie Parker or a Dizzy Gillespie. you have to give him room. Nevertheless. even they were still framed in very interesting and innovative heads.‘
His primary functions as composer and theorist
' do not. he contends. make him fundamentally
different from anyone else in the music. ‘We are all after the same thing. and I don‘t think it really matters whether 1 create it by writing or Bird creates it in improvisation.‘ a view borne out by any of his records. and even more so by his live performances. where his own role as conductor is carried out in dynamic. almost showbiz style. and the Orchestra is allowed to burn within carefully proscribed limits.
‘I like to write in such a way that it is possible for the players to express themselves. You can improvise even while reading music. in terms of the way you interpret. I don‘t write any dynamics or anything. so it is down to the musicians themselves to react to the music. and make a new creation out of it each time.‘
Russell‘s music spans the bebop era to the 21st century. and constitutes one of the unique — and most enjoyable — canons in jazz. Even with Sonny Rollins around. the Orchestra‘s debut visit to Scotland (with Andy Sheppard and Ian Carr in the ranks) is the essential listening experience of this year‘s festival jazz. Don‘t miss it.
I George Russell Orchestra Queen‘s Hall (TDK Round Midnight/Fringe Venue 72) 668 2019. 20 Aug. 9pm.£7 (£5.50).
The sound of the Black Watch pipers at President Kennedy‘s funeral changed Rufus llarley‘s life. No slouch on the saxophone. having studied with Coltrane‘s teacher. he found that he could not reproduce that blood-tingling reedy chanter skirl on his soprano. and ended up buying a cheap set of bagpipes in New York. Now this black Philadelphia-born musician is the only jazz bagpiper in the world. Next week he gets the chance to wear one ofhis five kilts when he makes his long-anticipated first visit to Scotland. his spiritual homeland. as
Whether the music will
individual notes of the
tempered scale of Western music. sometimes setting up a dismal confusion with fixed pitch instruments. Another aspect of performance is that melody on the pipes is
restricted in key signature. a refined discipline for jazz musicians used to chromatic freedom. Harley recorded with Sonny Rollins quite succesfully. and his own Paris-recorded album of a few years ago confirms the piper as more than a novelty. so it is with amused interest that 1 look forward to the arrival of this coals-to-Newcastle
minimalist nine-note scale does not correspond to the
essentially modal and very
part of the McEwans international Jazz Festival.
impress more than Rufus‘ sartorial excesses remains to be seen. because the
pipes are notoriously difficult to play in consort with anything other than bagpipes. The pitch ofthe
musician with. as he says. ‘his mother instrument. It‘s got no end and no beginning.‘ He happily
remembers a Scot once telling him. ‘The pipes are as old as dirt‘. (Norman Chalmers)
I Rulus Harley Ouintet (McEwans International Jazz Festival) Festival Club (Venue 4) 21 Aug 12.30—2pm. £2.5(lpm: With Stan Tracey Quartet _ and Spanky Davis Quintet. Royal British Hotel. Princes Street (Venue 5) 25 Aug. 7.30pm. £5: With Mike Hart‘s Scottish Society Syncopators. The World‘s Greatest Jazzband and Jazz Ameri-Can. DML Jazz Big Top. Raeburn Place (Venue 3) 2()Aug. 7.30pm. £5.
It has become something
blend of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk — an impression he has happily acknowledged. Like all great jazzmen. he has built on his influences rather than imitated them. but his admiration for Duke has also produced two fine records of arrangements. We Love You Madly ( 1968) and this year‘s We Still Love You Madly (Mole). as well as the Plays Duke Ellington set from 1986.
Tracey first heard Ellington at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem in the early 1950s. when he was one of the coterie of British jazzers working the transtlantic cruise liners. In between sailings. they would catch as many as possible ofthe American stars. who were
of a critical commonplace
effectively banned by
Musicians Union edict from performingin Britain at that time.
to locate the basis ofStan Tracey‘s distinctive. angular piano style in a
44 The List 18 — 24 August 1989