JAZZ DUNDEE JAZZ FESTIVAL Rep Theatre, Dundee, 21-27 May.

The resurrection of the Dundee Jazz Festival was one of the success stories of Scottish jazz in the latter half of the 905. This year again offers a varied programme, ranging from the ongoing 80th birthday celebrations of the doyen of British traditional and mainstream jazz, Humphrey Lyttelton, to what may be the Scottish debut of one of New York’s greatest Latin band leaders, Eddie Palmieri.

The long-standing assumption that Dundee equates with a conservative programme is not really borne out. Although there is a bit of what would be considered mainstream jazz in the festival, led by Humph and the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook, it is by no means the dominating musical stream.

Hue and Cry represent an entirely different (if maybe not exactly jazz) constituency, as does Eddie Palmieri whose explosive mix of jazz and Latin music should be one of the highlights of the event. The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra add a new name to their repertory with a concert devoted to the music of the quintessential big band leader, Count Basie, while those who like their jazz more modern must check out the Jazz

The old gore master returns


ALICE COOPER Playhouse, Edinburgh, Mon 21 May.

If one word sums up Alice Cooper's success. past and present. that word is ‘attitude'. He's the 70s master of Shock Rock. freely combining a

man's music is in such demand. ‘I think it all has to do with the attitude in the song.‘ he says. ‘I can do ‘Eighteen’ right now on stage and it sounds like something that Nirvana would have sung. These songs still work, and when the audience hears the

Pianists concert. And if your taste runs to the even more abstract, there is a solo saxophone recital from free improvisation giant Evan Parker at the McManus Gallery.

A number of Scottish bands will also be represented, both at late nights at The Rep and in other venues around the city (see listings for full details). If I had to single out one concert that looks particularly like a not-to-be-missed occasion, it would have to be the triple bill of Jazz Pianists.

The concert will feature the return to Scotland of the superb American pianist Jessica Williams, and a set from our own Brian Kellock, a player of genuine international standard. Perhaps the most intriguing addition to the line up, though, is that of David Berkman, another brilliant performer from the ultra-tough New York scene.

Berkman is unlikely to be familiar to too many jazz fans in these parts, although he has played in Scotland once before, accompanying singer Jane Monheit in two gigs in Nairn last December. A projected Edinburgh debut fell through at that time, but he will be featured on a couple of occasions at Henry’s Jazz Bar in the capital, as well as in Dundee.

I urge you to check him out. His dazzling


Pianist David Berkman will soon be familiar to all

Communication Theory (Palmetto) was one of the most exciting discs to hit my CD player last year, and even with limited solo space in Nairn, he sounded fantastic. (Kenny Mathieson)

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MR MCFALL’S CHAMBER Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sun 13 May; The Arches, Glasgow. Mon 21 May; Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 25 May.

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magical mix of music. mayhem and the macabre. And by Cranking up the metal content of his latest album Brutal Planet he has managed to pull himself up into the ranks of the trendy by the laces of his leopard skin boots. Make no mistake: Alice is in vogue.

Now a happily married man in his mid—fifties who spends his leisure time playing golf. his alter-ego is let loose nightly to stalk the stage and shock the packed audiences around the globe. ‘I let Alice live in this world. but only for an hour and 45-minutes on stage each night.‘ he says. ‘During that time. he is pure Alice.‘

And its typical of Cooper's attitude a word he uses habitually. He can't help himself but apply 10000 effort to everything he does. from writing material to performing.

It also explains why the

52 THE LIST 10—24 May 2001

opening chords they still get a chill . . .‘

The same give-it-everything- you've-got approach saturates every aspect of each stage show. and that's no more true than of the latest show Brutal Planet which rolls into Edinburgh in May. With its riotous array of props and magic illusions that includes straightiackets. guillotines. swords and two-headed babies. there’s hardly time to draw breath as Cooper. daubed in death-mask face paint. lurches from one song to another.

That's the kind of attitude that's brought Cooper right back to the forefront of popularity. demonstrating theatrical techniques to today‘s young pretenders. Eminem. eat your heart out before Alice does it for you.

(Drew MacAdaml

Genre-mangling, continent straddlers

Formed by some maverick string players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Mr McFall's Chamber had. according to their non-leader Robert McFall. a simple mission: 'to play to other than small elderly audiences that tended to fall asleep.’

And so. augmented by brilliant pianist Graeme McNaught. celebrated English folk singer Dave Brady (who happens to roadie for the SCOi and Cauld Blast Orchestra drummer/perCLiSSionist Rick Baiiiford. they've gone on to create probably the most eclectic band in the UK if only because rock musicians cannae play Shostakowtch's ‘Adagio'. On their first l1999i album Like The Milk. the ‘Adagio' Sits with a song by ElVlS Costello. one by Burns. Hendrix' 'Little Wing'. some Olde English muSic by Dowland and a truncated version of Janis Joplin‘s ‘Lord Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz'.

Perversely. they're about to release two new albums Within a few weeks: Revo/uCionar/o is wholly devoted to the mLJSlC of Argentina and Chile intense Piazzolla tangos. and nueva canCion from singer Valentina Montoya-l/lartinez. The second Upstart Jugglers moves from King Crimson to mUSlCal saw solos in ‘La Vie En Rose' Via Richard Thomson and the first recordings of original commissions from Edward McGuire and Cumnock lad James MacMillan whose ‘Cumnock Fair' takes the strathspeys and reels of local 18th century fiddler John French as the starting pomt for an assertively contempOrary muSical odyssey an approach that Robert McFall feels is supremely important. 'I think at the moment there is a problem in the way Scotland sees itself. It's a restriction to be so limited one must remain open to other world influences. One of our next protects involves Martyn Bennett writing a piece for us - but it won't have to be limited to trad Scots. or bagpipes. Or even techno.' lNorman Chalmersi