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Monte Cristo

How to turn a 1100 page novel into a 75-minute musical was the problem facing the creators of Monte Cristo. an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s classic adventure novel which brings together talents from diverse fields. The project is the brainchild of . Scatland‘s leading jazz musician and a composer, Tommy Smith, and his ' uncle, singer Jeff Leyton. who comes to the project fresh from a success in another famous French adaptation. the West End production of Les Miserables.

‘We have been working on this project off and on for about five years.‘ Smith said. ‘and writing music for something as specific as this was really hard work. Basically. it‘s a theatrical musical with large elements of both classical and jazz music, and maybe a touch of folk as well.‘

The task of condensing the action into a workable libretto fell to the poet Edwin Morgan, who has already collaborated with the saxophonist on two major jazz projects. 'Beasts or Scotland' and 'Planet Wave’. Leyton will be the featured singer, while Smith's music will be played by a combination of his own jazz quintet and the ten- strong Paragon Ensemble. conducted by David Davies. (Kenny Mathieson) it“; Monte Cristo (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 75) 228 7404, 7—4 Sep, 7 7 pm, [10 (f6). Glasgow: Cottier Theatre, 5 Sep.

Tommy Smith: genre juggler

; WeIll and LatIn American songs to


Mr McFall's Chamber Orchestra

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Ivlr McFalls Chamber Orchestra are a Splinter group of musicians moonlighting from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Often found playing In late-night drinking dives and smoky clubs, their erudite arrangements cover everything from classical and operatic pieces to Kurt

of the Sex Pistols. Covering this breadth of ground wrth neither pretension or the feeling that they are patronising the material takes an abundance of talent and this bunch have got buckets of it.

This IS a dramatic, passionate pot- pourri of mtoxrcating delights at that unexpected intersection where the avant-garde and cabaret meet. Unmissable Seen at the Bongo Club. (Ross Holloway)

3325? Mr McFall’s Chamber Orchestra (Fringe) Observer Asserrib/y (Venue 3) 226 2428, 30 Aug-5 50/), midnight,

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King Crimson, and beyond, far beyond, to the unpredictable energy

2 days later with .Joole Holland

Bonnie Tyler F’aul Carrack Graham Lyle

7.50pm, Monday 7 September 1998 at the Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh £15, £10. £5

Bookings: 0151 667 7776/0131 665 2019

A charity event in aid of the Drake Music Project and Leonard Cheshire

54 THE LIST 27 Aug-IO Sep 1998


You could be forgiven for taking the view that the lithe swing style pioneered by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in the Quintette du Hot Club de Paris in the 305 had long since run out of steam. Its appeal has proved highly durable, however, and it continues to provide inspiration for musicians all over the world.

Scotland is no exception, and it is not only Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django which is currently succeeding in bringing a more contemporary feel to that classic model. Their self-produced debut CD, recorded live at the Tron in Edinburgh last August, confirms that The Hot Club are managing that same trick. Violinist Alex Yellowlees leads the band, which has performed as a duo and trio, but grew to its present quartet dimensions with the recruitment of guitarist Nigel Clark into the ranks, alongside John Russell (rhythm guitar) and Roy Percy (bass). (Kenny Mathieson) at The Hot Club (Fringe) Spiege/tent (Venue 87) 558 8070, 4 Sep, 7pm, £7 (£5).

POP PREVIEW Leonardo's Bride

Australian foursome Leonardo’s Bride may be on Mushroom, the same label as chart colossi Garbage, but musically they’re as similar as chalk and chimpanzees. Lead singer Abby Dobson’s tender voice caresses as well as it can carouse and is backed by a band who can switch easily between simple, effective acoustic arrangements and more ballsy wig outs.

Angel Blood, their debut CD, has gone gold in their home country and they won the Song Of The Year Award for their single ’Even When I'm Sleeping' at this year's Australian Performing Rights Association Awards. Now they hope to emulate that success here.

’We like to set an intimate mood,’ explains Dobson from Sydney. 'It’s a sparse electric sound, not a barrage. Our sound guy hates us because it’s so dynamic One minute it comes down to a whisper and then it blows out again . . . but it's always driven by the lyrics.’ (Jonathan Trew)

a Leonardo’s Bride (Fringe) Spiege/tent (Venue 87) 557 8070, 2—5 Sep, 70.30pm (5pm, 3 Sep), £7 (£5).

FUSION PREVIEW Dave Heath Band - The Rage Bass‘ flute is not an Instrument which ranks highly among the solo voices exploned by composers of concertos, but Dave Heath never one to stand on conventions or settle for the obvrous produced a notable exception in The Rage, originally written for the BT Scottish Ensemble in 1996, With Heath himself as soloist. As the name suggests, The Rage is