Alex Mathieson goes Simply Red while Kenny goes blue with Jazz in a Cold Climate. Plus Peggy Lee, Oedipus Rex and Bartok’s Bluebeard, and rubbing up Erasure the right way.
LISTINGS: ROCK 45 JAZZ 41 FOLK 42 CLASSICAL 43
Saturn not calling
Kenny Mathieson looks ahead to the international jazz line-up which will usher in the 19905 in Scotland.
In the final issue of 1989, I suggested that the indigenous Scottish jazz scene was currently in its healthiest state in a long time. As we move into a new decade. however, Scottish jazz fans remain indebted to Assembly Music for providing international jazz of the highest stature on a year-round basis at the Queen‘s Hall in Edinburgh.
Their three-month winter programme kicks off, though, with a familiar (and highly popular) face from nearer home, that ofCarol Kidd. The singer’s concert (26 Jan) is the first ofthree
showcases for Scottish or Scottish-based artists in the season; the others feature saxophonist
Tommy Smith's Quartet alongside the John Rae Collective (9 Feb). and guitarist Martin Taylor‘s Quartet and the Chick Lyall Group (30 March).
February brings in two very different big bands, but it should have been three. A late cancellation due to illness meant that the Sun Ra Arkestra dropped out of the programme at the eleventh hour, thereby depriving us of a visitation from Saturn and a highly memorable start to a new decade‘s music. To pile on the agony. a proposed concert with a second major name also fell through. leaving two dates still to be confirmed as we go to press; the hot tip is pianist Tommy Flanagan (2 Feb) and bass maestro Eberhard Weber (23 Feb). Watch this space for
The strictly terrestrial Danish Radio Big Band (16 Feb) work from a more mainstream context, but with distinguished and original arrangements as well as impeccable musicianship. Listeners who demand nothing more than catchy tunes and familiar textures are referred to the Glenn Miller Orchestra‘s Glasgow Pavilion date (11 Feb).
I look forward with particular anticipation to the Steve Lacy Sextet (2 March). The French-based American saxophonist has been responsible for some of the most diverse and imaginative music of the past three decades, and is one of the very few players to specialise exclusively in soprano saxophone. a narrow focus belied in the richness of his music. Peter King (16 March) is best known for his work on the next horn up the scale, and fully deserves his
reputation as Britain‘s leading bop altoist.
Guitarist John Seofield has built up a solid following in his previous visits to Scotland. and returns with a new group (23 March) featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano. last heard in these parts as a member of(‘harlie lladen‘s Liberation Orchestra. Seofield is a very fine jazz player as well as a leading figure in the fusion revival ofthe late Eighties.
prast experience is anything to go by. there will be an almighty scramble for tickets for the remaining concert. featuring singer Gil Scott Heron (9 March). It rounds out another strong Assembly programme. but the lack ofany activity at this level elsewhere in Scotland (outside the major Festivals) remains a cause for concern. particularly in Glasgow, where the Jazz Festival is still an oasis amid a rather arid plain. give or take the occasional big band.
We can but hope that developments will be forthcoming later in the year. but three more modest projects will get offthe ground over the winter. courtesy of the new Scottish Jazz Network. The Network launches with a short tour featuring the Andy Park Octet — habitués of Glasgow jazz haunts in the late sixties will remember Andy‘s now legendary Tentette, a band still highly-regarded by its former members. The Octet are at The Merlin, Edinburgh (28 Jan). Cumbernauld Theatre (30 Jan). Tay Hotel, Dundee (31 Jan) and Glasgow‘s Henry Wood Hall (1 Feb).
Subsequent Network tours will feature a sextet jointly led by Glasgwegian expatriates Bobby Wellins and Jim Mullen (27 Feb—l March), and a special project being assembled by keyboard player and composer Ronnie Rae Jr, with drummer Clark Tracey as a special guest (27—29 March). Director lan Middleton is currently looking at possible regular venues for the Network in Edinburgh. Glasgow and Dundee, but they will not. as originally suggested. be promoting in Aberdeen for the time being, where local initiatives are already in hand.
I SLASGOW’S LIVE SCENE regularsuppllers oi
ls getting a medlum-slzed unhypocritlcal PUNK ROCK shot In the arm with the iluitars' as well. The ilrst openlng oi the Admiral Bar, show is on 1 Feb. when
72a Waterloo Street (221 Edinburgh's Jesse Caron 7705) as a venue lorsmall and The Desperadoes will bands. Graeme Arnott. the be Joined by Mousetollt man booking the bands. has from the Bristol area. started the venture alter I AND THAT'S NOT ALL. bemoanlng the lack oi Over in Paisley. muslclan
Ian Chisholm has opened
placesto see live ! j the doors oi The Studio. 12 l
‘indle-pop' bands in Glasgow. and promises that the Admiral will be ‘the only
Shuttle Street (041 889 6867) to live bands. Details
oi this iortnight's dates can be iound in the listings. but Ian is looking for more bands. Tapes should be sent to the above address, and we hear rumoursthat he has a grand competition delays. The disc. on the in the planning. band's Planetarium
I AND WHILE WE’RE Records, was all set to be ABOUT iT, the HaltBar. : normallythe home ol predictable folk and jazz residencies. is starting up its Rockhouse nlghts. Apparently. the tact that so many people. lnciudlng JunlorWalker, were popping in tor a lam had something to do with it. We'll keep you posted.
rings to tell us thatthe band's new single
in our 8 Dec lssue. is now available alter unloreseen
I TOM FROM THE THIEVES
‘September Rain'. reviewed
distributed by Nightshltt.
record alter reading about It in “The List' (‘Glasgow soul band tunlry boy quilt-yes, those words, in that order) can now sailsly thelrurge. I As YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, Billy Lyall died at the New Year. Gultarlstlor
i the Bay City Rollers. he left I the bandln1971.so
l misslng the Rollermanla oi I the yearsthattollowed.
( Still. Blllyiasted success
but national independent record chain The Cartel were reluctant to deal with nghtshllt stull until the backlog oi Fast Forward records had been cleared, hence the delay. Weeplng tans who tried to buythe
with his own group Pilot, which scored a NumberOne with ‘January’ in 1975. Our condolences to his parents William and Christine and his iamlly andirlends.
w.-- ._ _J
The List 12 — 25 January 199029