Kenny Mathieson rolls out his jazz tips and reviews some ofthe best below.
depulises. with Ronnie Rae
I FAREWELL BALL Peanuts l tIliiVlLLiGAI'NES Jag hooler Hucko, Humphrey Lyttelton. a nos 8 a ormer s
Guy Latitte and Rulus ! mil" gar. but congactural Harley are among those gs ons mean an seeing oil the Festival in the i Tracey cannot appear as traditional fashion. Gold billed. and son Clark
Badges. etc. are not valid. Jazz Pavilion. Meadowhank (McEwans Jazz Festival Venue 1) 557 1642. 25 Aug. 8.30pm. £10.
Jr on piano. Oueen's Hall (Fringe Venue 72). 668 2019. 26 Aug. 11pm. £6.50. £5.50 (£4.50).
Jazz band lighting up the
I FESIIVAL FIREWORKS Picnic-style reprise to the Jazz Festival. with Humphrey Lyttelton. Monty . Sunshine and the HotAntic
elegant grounds. Hopetoun House. South Oueenslerry (Fringe Venue 69). 668 2019. 26 Aug. 6.30pm. £6.85 (£8 on door).
SIX VOLTS New Zealand outfit Six Volts promise wit. verve and-slightly alarmingly— ‘Antipodean personality' in their jazz-inflected music for theirlestival debut. Marco's (Fringe Venue 98) 229 7898. 25—26 Aug. 11.30pm. 27 Aug—2 Sept. 9pm. £4.50 (£3).
Heat of the Moment
Kenny Mathieson considers Stephane Grappelli‘s contribution
to ‘le jazz hot’.
Last year. violinist Stephane Grappelli played to a sell-out crowd in the Queen‘s Hall. and repeated the feat as a special guest ofguitarist Martin Taylor on the opening night of the Glasgow Jazz Festival. It will come as no surprise. then. that no tickets remain for his Usher Hall concert this Sunday. a joint venture between the Festival and the McEwans Jazz
Grappelli remains a spriter performer. despite having celebrated his eightieth birthday last year. Committed to an orphanage after the death of his mother at age three. he first played violin -
supplied by his father— nine years later. Drawn to American jazz in his teens. Grappelli began to play the music on both violin and piano.
He first met guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1929. but the group which was to make them famous. the Quintette of the Hot Club of France. was not formed until 1934. when both men found themselves playing in the ranks of an orchestra at the Hotel Claridge in Paris. Grappelli claims that the band initially emerged from a casual dressing-room jam in the hotel. but inﬂuential French critics Hugues Panassie and Charles Delaunay quickly adopted them as the official band of their famous Hot Club.
‘We always played in evening dress.‘ the violinist recalls. ‘and I remember it was awful to play the violin in the summer. with the starched shirt like armour. and with a stiff collar with a button. The more you pushed the violin. the more the button would dig into your throat. It
was an agony!‘
While the fastidious Grappelli and the mercurial gypsy had something of a tempestuous personal relationship. they were a phenomenally successful musical combination. at least before the intervention ofthe war. Their 19305
recordings were the first European jazz records to challenge the great American masters. but sporadic post-war re-unions were only intermittantly as rewarding.
‘Django used to disappear toward the end of his life. He liked to go to the country. He didn‘t really like to work very much. you see. and he was getting old very quickly. He died at only 43 years old. but he looked much more than that. because he did not take care with his health.‘
Reinhardt‘s death (ofa brain hemorrhage) in 1953 ended the partnership. and the violinist fell from fashion as the emphasis shifted to more modern jazz forms. He continued to make a comfortable living on the cabaret circuit during the 1950s and 19605. but his jazz career was revived when the English guitarist Diz Disley talked him into a tour of English folk clubs in 1972. using the guitar and violin format of the Quintette. Grappelli has continued in that format ever since. and ifit inevitably lacks the fire and freshness of those original Hot Club recordings. it clearly strikes a chord with his huge following. I Stephane Grappelli Usher Hall (McEwans Jazz Festival Venue 2()/Official Festival) 225 5756. 27
Aug, 8pm, SOLD OUT.
Tomorrow offers a chance to catch a sneak preview of I‘ernperley".s‘ Town. the first part of Pelicula Films‘ tribute to the Lochgelly-born saxophonist. shot in his adopted home ofNew York. Temperley was a major figure in British jazz circles when he made the move to New York in 1965. but. as he explains in the opening sequence. ‘you can make a reputation in Scotland or Britain or Europe. but there comes a time when you‘ve got to measure it. and that means New York.‘
While recognising the downside oflifc in the city. and retaining strong links with his home village. the quality ofNew York‘s musical life remains the over-riding factor in Temperley‘s love for the city.
‘Acceptance in New York is dependant on ability. not where you are from. 1 love New York City. and when lam away from it. 1 don‘t missthe violence and so on. but I really miss the musicians. I have tried leaving several times. but it
doesn‘t work for me. I like that standard- I guess] got used to it.‘
The chance to channel that affection into film came completely out of the blue. when he was approached by director Mike Alexander and writer Doug Eadie to
sound out hisinterest.
‘My first reaction was simply great surprise.‘ Joe
recalls in his quiet. transatlantic accent. ‘but after I thought about it. l was really very enthusiastic. I liked the fact that the film-makers were prepared to give me
full control in selecting the musicians and the musical direction of the whole project.‘
Joe assembled a number ofdifferent groups for the film. spanning the big band jazz of Buck Clayton through to the modern bop ofyoung. London-born tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore. both featured in this segment. A short duo performance with the great bass player Milt Hinton. and his recollections of his early experiences playing in one ofAl Capone‘s Chicago clubs. is a particular gem in a uniformly fascinating film. (KM)
I Temperley's Town Filmhouse l (228 2688). 25 Aug. 4.45pm. £1 .50.
— GRAND UNION
Grand Union Orchestra‘s Freedom Calls has lost none ofits sheer exuberance since its first performance in last year‘s Festival. The l9-piecc band proved unfailingly energetic in their treatment of Tony Haynes‘s lengthy and energy-sapping composition. but retained enough to provide a
second set of dance music.
Both sets drew directly on the Orchestra‘s penchant for the indigenous musical forms of Africa. South America and the Caribbean. fuelled by the presence in the ranks ofa number of players from those diverse backgrounds. Ifthe rhythms no longer sound as exotic as was once the case. they ensure that the work moves along on an irresistible tide of colour and energy.
Freedom Calls draws its unity from thematic and political strands rather than structural ones. but compensates for that inherent looseness with a vibrant. raw energy and some spectacular solo contributions from the likes of saxman Jeff Gordon and trumpeter Claude Deppa. (KM)
I Grand Union Orchestra Queen‘s Hall. run ended.
— ORANGEEAR ENSEMBLE
Drummer Tom Bancroft‘s eight-piece Orange Ear Ensemble. which shares four members with the excellent John Rae Collective. are one ofthe most interesting units currently operating on the Scottish scene. Ifthe
musical ideas they explore are not new in the international context. they represent a welcome departure in the home
To say they are eclectic hardly scratches the surface: Tom‘s own compositionsjostle with tunes by Julius Hemphill and Lester Bowie. Stravinsky‘s Tango and Charlie Parker's Billie 's Bounce. all in fearsomely complex arrangements which nonetheless allow plenty of freedom for individual expression. rather in the manner of Charles Mingus or the later AACM musicians in Chicago. They make a joyful. unbridled music. and must resist any temptation to tame it. (KM)
I Orange Ear Ensemble Festival Club. run ended.
lfit has been a longtime coming. George Russell‘s first visit to Scotland at the helm ofhis explosive Orchestra proved well worth the wait. The 14-piece band attacked Russell's complex compositions with marvellous zest and
understanding. marrying traditional jazz instruments with
contemporary electronics in a thoroughly convincing fashion.
The opening set was given over to The African Game. an episodic composition which I heard played in what lsuspcct was an unsurpassable version two years ago. So it proved on this occasion. but there was more than enough to hold the interest in a vice-like grip. both in solos — notably from Andy Sheppard and [an Carr — and in the vibrant ensemble textures.
The second set laid the emphasis on a highly contemporary sound. culminating in his justly celebrated arrangement of Miles Davis‘s So What. a tune much influenced by Russell in the first place. It
was a fitting climax to a scintillating concert. (KM) I George Russell Orchestra Queen‘s llall. run ended.
The List 25 — 31 August 1989 41