JAZZ Courtney Pine Cafe Graffiti, Fri 31 Jul.
Courtney Pine: jazz warrior
To have a forward-thinking, dynamic musman like Courtney Pine at the forefront of British jazz is a boon which may not be entirely appreciated by the establishment. To Pine’s frustration, his efforts to cross-pollinate jazz With contemporary musical genres like hip hop have not attracted the attention which he commanded when he first emerged more than a decade ago, selling truckloads more albums than his jazz peers could have hoped to, 'Unless you know me, you would think that all that Comtney Pine is is a guy in a suit playing traditional jazz,'
he says, 'but I’ve always had it in line to do what I'm dorng now. The first time I went to see jazz was to dance to it at the Sunday sessions at Dingwalls in Camden Town but to play jazz you have to learn, to go back to the basics and that's what I’ve been doing for the last ten years.’
Pine rues the 805, when jazz went through a protracted period of reverence for the past However, he knows he is now operating in exciting times, With the rise of hip hop and drum ’n' bass in particular displaying the potential to influence the genre they in turn borrow from.
'Jazz sh0u|d be representing all the elements of modern day music,' says Pine. 'Jazz musiCians shouldn’t be looking back. Once you’ve got over that apprenticeship period, as up to YOU to present something that's relevant today.’
To this end, Pine has programmed an evening of dance-orientated music at Cafe Graffiti during which members of his own band and other collaborators Will get the chance to perform solo sets, including mixing champ DJ Pogo, house vocalist Mary Pierce and a DJ set from Pine himself, which should demonstrate the links between jazz and drum 'n' bass.
'lt COrries down to the original jazz warrior concept where everybody :s a leader,' says Pine. Let’s hope where he leads, others Will follow (Fiona Shepherd)
JAZZ . George Gershwin
Tribute King’s Theatre, Wed 5 Jul.
George GershWin or Jacob GershOWitz, as he was then -- was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 26 September 1898 The Jazz Festival Will celebrate his centenary with a tribute in the Gala Concert, but the composer already has a more lasting jazz memorial in the shape of the many tunes which have entered the standard repertOire, With '1 Got Rhythm" — or its chord progression — at their head.
That chord progression — known simply as 'the Rhythm changes’ — has provided the base material for literally c0untless jazz improvisations and composmons. Kitted out With a new melody and altered or extended harmonies, its basic chord structure provrded the best known foundation in jazz.
The song itself was originally Sung by Ethel Merman in Glf/ Crazy in 1930,
Gershwin: he got rhythm
With lyrics by Ira Gershwm. The brothers' fame rested mainly on their successful musicals, but George always had serious aspirations for the concert stage, both as a pianist and as composer of works like Rhapsody In Blue (originally scored for Paul Whiteman’s jazz ensemble, and later for full orchestra), the Piano Concerto In F, the tone poem An American In Paris, and his great opera, Porgy And Bess
GershWin was a formidable pianist, but his greatest gift, was his ability to conjure up unforgettable melodies in whatever context he happened to be working, from the Tin Pan Alley songwriting sweatshops in which he began through to the operatic stage.
It is that gift which made Gershwm one of the great composers of the century, and the International All-Stars charged With honouring his memory — featuring Bob Barnard, Ken Peplowksi, Kenny Davern, Howard Alden, Jake Hanna and Stacey Kent — Will have no shortage of imperishable material from which to choose (Kenny Mathiesom
EDINBURGH JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL
Tickets are available from the King's Theatre (Gala Concert), 220 4349, Playhouse (B 8 King). 557 2590, and The Queen's Hall (a I other events), 668 2019 or 667 7776, or on the door. Concessions will be on sale from an hour before performance at the Queen’s Hall, subject to availability. A Weekend Blues ticket is available for the Blues Festival at a special rate of £30.
I Queen’s Hall Clerk Street. 668 2019. I King's Theatre 2 Leveit Street. 220 4349.
I Playhouse Greeiiside Place (Leith Walk). 557 2590.
I Greyfriars Kirk Candlemaker Row. I The Liquid Room Victoria Street. 225 2564.
I Caledonian Hotel Princes Street. 459 9988.
I Tron Tavern Hunter Square. 226 0931.
I Cafe Grafﬁti Mansfield Place Church. East London Street. 557 8003. I Spiegeltent Waverley Shopping Centre. Princes Street. 558 8010.
I Ross Theatre Princes Street Gardens. I Caledonian Brewery 42 Slateford Road. 337 I286.
I 8. 8. King Playhouse. 7.30pm. £25. £20. A rare Fdinburgh performance from a blues legend whose electrifying guitar licks and rich vocals helped to define the Chicago blues style in the 50s. although it is all more than a little formulaic these days. He will be hacked by the usual horns-and-rhythm band. while Connie Lush and Blues Shouter open the concert. I Cotton Club The Liquid Room. 7.30pm. £l0. Another new home for The Cotton Club. this time in the re-furbished Liquid Room. Only one stage this year. btit the programming still features several attractions each evening. First tip tonight is the 10th Avenue Jazz Band (7.30—S.3()piii). followed by a stellar gathering of maiiistreamers. led by festival regulars Scott Hamilton and Roy Williams (8.45—1045pm).
I Opening Party Spiegeltent. 8pm. £7. A mix of trad and novelty for the opening night. with Paul Moore’s Washboard Wizards and the 10th Avenue Jazz Band. The Spiegeltent will also host a daily early livening Commuter Session with Australian band Fruit (5pm). and The Blue Note Cafe ( l l—Zam. £3). with the John Burgess International Quartet (details of both events from 558 8010).
I Diana Krall Queen's Hall. 8.30pm. £l3. £ l0. Acclaimed US singer makes her Scottish debut. See preview.
I Courtney Pine's Mix Cafe Graffiti. 9pm. £l2.50. Jazz meets hip hop. jungle. bass ‘n' drum and more as the saxmaii programmes at major night of cutting edge sounds. including his own band. Cleveland Watkiss. and J-I.ife‘s Julie Dexter. See review.
I Late Nig t Jazz Club Caledonian Hotel. l().3()— l .30am. £7. Alex Shaw hosts the Late Night Jazz Club with tonight's special guest. Roy Williams. Advance booking is recommended for this venue.
I Mardi Gras Grassmarket. l—«Ipm. Free. Sample the more traditional side of the festival‘s programme. starting with a
parade from the City Chambers at 12.30pm.
I Cotton Club Liquid Room. 7.30pm. £10. Mart Rodgers Manchester Jazz (7.30—8.30pm). followed by the always highly entertaining Temperance Seven (8.45—l0.-I5pm).
I Sydney Zenith Jazz Band Spiegeltent. 8pm. £8. Traditional jazz outfit front Australia. supported by the Jive Aces (see Fri 31 for additional events).
I Jazz Dinner Norton House Hotel. Newbridge. 333 1275. 8pm. Music from the 10th Avenue Jazz Band — contact venue for ticket details.
I Billy May with the BBC Big Band Queen‘s Hall. 8.30pm. £l5. £9.50. Trumpeter and band-leader Billy May is a hugely respected arranger with an impeccable big band pedigree. but is probably best known for his collaborations with Sinatra on classic 50s albums like Come Fly Willi Me. This concert will also feature a guest appearance from Craig McMurdo.
I Lizzard Lounge and Big Beat Cafe Graffiti. 9.30pm. £7 (£6). Live dancefloorjazz with a strong Latin flavour from Edinburgh's own El Coineta 10. plus guest DJs Adrian Gibson and Lubi Jovanovich.
I Late Night Jazz Club Caledonian Hotel. l().3()pm. £ l0. Alex Shaw. with special guest Scott Hamilton.
I Jazz On A Summer's Day Ross Theatre. 12.30—(ipm. Free. The biggest single jazz event in the UK begins with the customary Gospel Service at l lam. prior to an afternoon of diverse (but largely traditionally inclined) bands from the festival programme. compered by Craig McMurdo. They are usually fortunate with the weather. too, btit then again. so was T in the Park until this year
I Cotton Club Liquid Room. 7.30pm. £10. Clarinetist Monty Sunshine links up with the Zenith New Orleans Jazz Band (7.30—8.3()pm; 9.50-l().5()pm). while the 10th Avenue Jazz Band are joined by Lewis Keizer in their first set
' (8.40—9.40pm; ll—midiiight).
I Paul Moore’s Washboard Wizards Spiegeltent. 8pm. £8. A repeat of the opening programme (see Fri 31 for additional events).
I King Pleasure And The Biscuit Boys Prestonpans Labour Club. Kirk Street. ()l875 8 l0388. 8pm. Contact venue for ticket details.
I Jonathan Gee Trio Tron Tavern. 8pm. £7 (£5). The Tron programme is easily the most interesting segment of the festival for anyone whose tastes run to modern rather than traditional jazz. Pianist Jonathan Gee launches proceedings with his own excellent trio. featuring Wayne Batchelor (bass) and Winston Clifford (drutns).
I Craig McMurdo Queen's Hall. 8.30pm. £l5. £l l. £9.50. Assuming his voice has stood up to the rigours ofa six- hour compering job in the afternoon. Craig and That Swing Thang will pay their own swinging tribute to the late. great Francis Albert Sinatra.
I Midnight Blue Cafe Graffiti. l()pm. £6. Soul-jazz grooves from the temporarily displaced regular Friday night crew. featuring singer Soubie Coleman and DJ Tinku.
I Late Night Jazz Club Caledonian Hotel. l().3()pm. £7. Alex Shaw. with special guest Lewis Keizer
I Education Programme Spiegeltent.
l lam. £3 for adults. free for children. Three separate sessions in all. with Paul Moore on novelty instruments
( l lam—noon). a young players' jam session (12.30—2pm. admission free). and a Brass Workshop with Lewis Keizer (3—4.30pm).
Continued over page
23 Jul—6 Aug 1998 THE List 57