moi;- Eriskay business ASTURESNEw

A new year, new music and a new juggling ditierent orchestras’ rehearsal

ensemble is the combination put schedules can be solved. Repertoire

iorward by ECAT Contemporary Music will concentrate on both 20th century

in its iirst presentation oi1991. Making classics— like the Messiaen -which

its debut periormance, the Hebrides Conway ieels tits a gap in the current

Ensemble plays Lyell Cresswell’s market and contemporary Scottish

’Equipoise’, ’Commedia’ by Sally chamber music.

Beamlsh, who is now resident in “But there will probably be the odd

Scotland, Debussy’s ’Syrinx’ and Brahms or Mozart Piano Quartet as

Messiaen's 'Duartet torthe End oi well,’ he says. ‘We'll be mixing the

Time’. programmes so they don‘t become Artistic co-directors oi the ensemble predictable.‘ What is predictable is

are well known Edinburgh-based that this will be a group with the highest

musicians, pianist Peter Evans and possible standards and a welcome

William Conway, principal cellist with inewcomerio Scottish musical iiie. the SCD. 'lt’s a group that Peter and l ; (Carol Main)

have talked about tor a iew years,’ says , The Hebrides Ensemble play at the Conway, ’and we leel now that there [Dueen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Mon 14. are the right players around in Scotland | , , to make it work.’

One oi the drawbacks oi being a busy proiessional musician in this country is that time is always short and so much of the preparation can seem last minute, but with this group Conway and Evans are determined to have plenty oi rehearsal time, so that they can enjoy rehearsing with the aim, says Conway, ’oi putting on something that’s a special event.’

The group itseli is ilexible, with a l pertorming strength oi anything I between one and a dozen players. I Drawing irom various orchestras (both

‘Brian was one ofthe major reasons 1 got involved in traditional music.‘ says John McCusker. The Battlefield Band‘s new eighteen-ycar-old fiddler. of his predecessor. ‘l‘ve always been a fanof Battlefield and Brian's fiddling. A few years ago me and my friend from across the road in Bothwell went along to a concert and I got a demo tape ofours up tothe stage. That was ofthc band we had at school in Hamilton. Parcel 0‘ Rogues. Robin Morton. the Battlefield manager. heard it. liked it and brought us along to his studio. When the chance to join the Battlefield Sally Beamish Band came up. lcouldn‘t believe it. And then my

It seems to be guitar month on the Scottish jazz scene. with the Barney Kessel and Martin Taylor concert (not to mention Martin’s new album) previewed elsewhere in this section quickly followed by a visit from London-based Glaswegian guitarist Jim Mullen. Jim popped up in slightly unexpected guise in Tam White’s Band at the Royal Concert Hall last month. depping for regular guitarist Ian Bairnson, but appears in more familiar surroundings this time as leader of his own quartet.

As anyone who caught their Glasgow Jazz Festival sets last year will know, this is a no-nonsense outfit with a distinctly straight-ahead jazz feel. That should come as no

the BBC 880 and the SCD are represented in this tirst concert), skiliul programming and a policy at having more than one person to call on per instrument mean the problems oi

first concert with the band was playing to 10,000 V l peoplein Glasgow‘s l logmanay party in

i . I I

(ieorgeSquarel' i AS well as hisfine

fiddling. the new ! indigenous musical traits. It can seem [Battlefield gains from

torbiddingly dense and diiticult to the yohn‘s capabilities. (m

surprise, since Mullen folded the ; ear attuned to less challenging . vocals. keyboard. highly successful jazztohk outfit the sonorities, a response which may accordion. tin whistle and Morrissey-Mullen Band specifically explain Why he is more admired I“ I “99'” ,

because both he and saxophonist continental Europe "'3" at home. _ 1 h‘cl re “‘9’”

Disk Morrissoy wanted to He has been bracketed with the “Mimi‘b’ "‘9 l“ "W band-

Takingover from Brian is a really big step. His songwritingand

composers ot the so~called New Complexity school, and particularly

concentrate on more jazz-oriented directions.


‘When we broke up the band, Dick . with Brian Femevhouoh. a personality. nobody can wanted to get back to bebop, and I I consequence 0' "'8" use 0' enreme really replace him like was interested in getting into . . musical languages, unconventional l the way he hams things up something a bit more contemporary, insmlmemal lGChfllqueS. densely '“ [he “’CRWW“ and a bit less in-the-pocket than compacted structural devices, and numbers. hols superh- Morrissey-Mullen had been. I like to complex rhythms. as well as oilen 3‘" l ""“k‘ ’C 8‘“ "it

own things to offer the band. and not just be a

' replacement.‘

t Dillon 3 music, however, while doing The other new member The Paragon Ensemble will pay tribute all these things, ultimately sounds of Battlohoto is thin

obscurer elliptical programme notes and statements oi intent.

keep it open and maybe a little impressionistic, but I was playing a festival in Germany recently, and I

got the chance to jam with a fantastic

band with Benny Golson, Curtis to the music at Glaswegian composer quite diiierent irom Femeyhough’s, MacDonald. late of Fuller and Johnny Griffin. I came James Dillon in a re-arranged concert and he remains an original it not ()ssian. and one ofthe . away thinking that if I could do that originally scheduled tor November. always accessible voice in three great Gicnursyplpjng stuff with my band, then that would The Paragon Ensemble's commitment contemporary British music. The A brilihjfifit 10”" “f‘m'i: ' be the ultimate for me, so that’s what to contemporary music in general, and Paragon Ensemble have km“ “mm” ‘0’“) ”‘

I‘m a great fan ofOssian.

[MUSIC milsrmcs

I’m working on.’ to Scottish music in particular, has commissioned the two new works to be We gm aummphcd

Moments new album, Into the gas been demonstrated on many periormed, ‘L’Deuvre au Noir’ and albums of ,hgirs‘ and now (‘It was going to be called 1990, but it occasions, but the ‘Paraooo Plays ‘oileadh souaibo’. which will I‘m getting to play in the came out so late that I thought that Dillon’ programme is a particularly ultimately ionn part at his extensive same band as lain. who's might be a little passe.‘), is only his daring one. “Nine Rivers’ project. Unusually, each also a tremendous nute second recording as leader, and James Dillon has moved in a very work will be periormed twice, with a and whistle player. rhch features the line-up he will bring on I diiierent direction irom his iellow discussion involving the composer and lwill b'CIIOtts'tlfgltlgl‘igC‘“ .1 tour, with saxman Mornington i Scottish composers. He works in an audience in the middle. (Kenny joobé “sew? mus" Locke“, Lawrence Cottle on bass, Imaginative and con‘mvers'a' sound Maihleson) 'grhe garllefiild‘gélndpla‘. and drummer [an Thomas goo world which owes more to the example The Paragon Plays Dillon at the Concert Cumbemauld Thea,” 0;, Listings. (Joe Alexander) , oi Varese or Xenakls than any ; , Hall, Glasgow University, on Mon 14. Fr,- 11_

36 The List 11- 24 January 1991