Piper Hamish Moore and clarinetist Dick Lee first met when brought together by composer Jim Sutherland for a BBC recording in the mid-1980s. and have been working together on their ground-breaking folk-into-jazz duo ever since.
They have worked out a careful combination of instruments across a wide dynamic and tonal range. matching the gentle cadences of ()verton whistle with recorder. the more mellow. bellows-blown small pipes with clarinet. and the harsher. steely-toned Highland set with soprano saxophone.
In the process. they have evolved and interchanged a remarkable musical vocabulary. in which Lee has. for example. learned to adapt to the leaping grace notes of the pipes (which the saxophone cannot emulate) by drawing on what are essentially fiddle techniques. and Moore has taken on some of Lee's jazz background.
The combinations are used in groups like Moore‘s Gaelic-oriented Fuaim and his own more folk-rock Band. as well as Lee‘s Chamber Jazz group which shared a stage with Sun Ra last week. but the duo remains its
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most fully developed context.
‘We began using only traditional material. but as time went on. we both wrote more and more music.‘
l lamish says. ‘Dick is very much a jazz player. and the influences of his music are coming through strongly in my playing. and that definitely includes a form ofjazz. [don't think it is really jazz as such. but it is coming from those influences. and it can be done.
‘Up to now I haven't really done all that much improvising. although
Dick does it all the time. but I think that is more and more the direction we will go in. especially in (‘hamber Jazz. By breaking free of the traditional pipe music context. though. we are also breaking new ground for pipe music. and that is very exciting.’ (Kenny Mathieson) I Hamish Moore, Dick Lee and Friends Acoustic Music (‘entre (Venue 25). 2202-16126 Aug. 7.30pm. £5 (£4).
I Hamish Moore & Dick Lee in Concert ' '
AMC. 27 Aug. 7.30pm. £4 (£3).
It won‘t exactly be a high noon situation, but the combination of Cleo Laine's Usher Hall finale to the McEwans Edinburgh international Jazz Festival, and Carol Kidd’s eagerly awaited reprise of her Glasgow Jazz Festival appearance with trio and full string orchestra in the TDK Round Midnight series, provides a chance to contrast two ladies who have been tagged Britain‘s best jazz singer in their time.
Cleo Laine has expanded her musical horizons well beyond the jazz field since emerging as the singer in saxophonist John Dankworth‘s band back in 1952. Cleo sang the more commercial end of a repertoire which briefly made Dankwonh one of the more experimental presences on the scene, but left her future husband's employ to move into acting, and a singing career in which she performed in musicals, classical, and even avant-garde idioms, testing her smoky, contralto voice and range of three and half octaves (although she makes :paring use of the high end now) to the
Like Carol Kidd, though, she has always tried to avoid the critics' tags,
considering herself to be ‘a singer of songs', whether jazz, dance tunes (‘not the same thing at all‘), 19th century leider, Weill‘s ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire‘, or the settings of Shakespeare which gave her one of her most successful records, ‘Shakespeare and All That Jazz'.
Carol Kidd began singing almost a decade later, in 1962, and has established herself as major draw in her native Scotland. Carol is now poised to make a long-overdue impact on the wider jazz scene, where she has made her presence felt only in fits and starts, notably in a series of residences at Ronnie Scott's in the early 1980s.
She is singing better than ever these days, as her fourth Linn Records release, ‘The Night We Called It a Day‘, currently one of the best-selling jazz records in the UK, convincingly demonstrates. Part of that development is undoubtedly down to
her new trio, led by pianist David Newton, which has given her an entirely different dimension to that provided by the estimable Sandy Taylor Trio, who served her well for a decade in a more mainstream style.
Newton, the magisterial bass player Dave Green, and drummerAlan Ganley have lifted her music into a higher gear. Their sound and approach to
harmony is more modern, flexible, and ,:
exciting, while their ability to respond to any unexpected deviation by the singer has allowed Carola new freedom to throw a few unexpected twists into familiar songs. The icing on the cake, the string orchestra, fulfils a long-held ambition forthe singer. (Kenny Mathieson)
Cleo Laine & John Dankworth Band. Usher Hall, 225 5756. 27 Aug, 8pm; Carol Kidd & Her Orchestra, Queen's Hall (Venue 72), 668 2019. 30 Aug. 7.30pm.
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