Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2014
Sunday 27 July, Day #10 - 1

I knew it was going to be a great day.

Sunday Blues Afternoon @ Palazzo Spiegeltent. Country and delta blues from Hat Fitz & Cara, got things off to a good start. Kris Dollimore, guitarist with Del Amitri laying down some good country blues and vocals. The full on power of contemporary electric blues from Coco Montoya.

By way of contrast, a rare outing for Fionna Duncan @ the Tron Kirk, ably assisted by Ronnie Rae and Brian Kellock. Classy lady who knows her way around the jazz songbook.

… and so to the final evening. Last year the end was a huge disappointment for me. I had been looking forward all Festival to experiencing live, the jazz colossus that is Pharaoh Sanders. Unfortunately he was taken ill and the concert had to be cancelled at short notice. This year I had a similar level of expectation for the music of Christian a Tunde Adjuah (Christian Scott). I wasn’t disappointed.

Feya Faku Quintet @ QH. This was the spirit of Miles and the classic quintets of the 50’s and 60’s with the addition of the South African context. Excellent playing, but towards the end, I became impatient for what was to come.

Christian Scott Quintet Sextet Septet @ QH. Hip, focused and charismatic. In his own words “Architect of the new sound in Jazz – stretch music” the big, open-minded sound he seeks, for his own band and for jazz in general. This young man has a very bright future of exploration ahead. He could be “The shape of jazz to come” – Ornette Coleman

Nikki Hill @ Palazzo Spiegeltent and the final act … and what an act. A powerhouse of a singer who delivered an intoxicating blend of roots, country blues, gospel, rockabilly, and hard rock. At last Edinburgh was dancing …

For those interested, a visual record of the Festival as see through my eyes can be found here:


Until July 2015 … keep it live!


Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2014
Saturday 26 July, Day #9 -1

The penultimate day of this year’s Festival.

A rocking start with the Saturday Blues Afternoon @ Palazzo Spiegeltent. Canadian Layla Zoe and her band giving it laldy. A full on and charismatic performer in the style of Janis Joplin. Next up the Gerry Jablonski Band. More full-on rock blues and driving guitar.
Shades of Blue. Country and Chicago Blues, with soulful vocals and some good harmonica playing. Even featured Brian Kellock on piano in the mix and a member of Grooveyard in the mix.

Another Canadian Cyndi Cain @ the Tron Kirk. Caught her in the afternoon and also in the evening (different dress). Soul, r’n’b, gospel. Powerful voice, great stage presence.

The Bad Plus @ QH. Another on my ‘red’ list. One that I was at from beginning to end, which is unusual given my hectic schedule through the Festival to experience and photograph as much as possible. Power, intensity, dynamism. A band very much of the present, but very knowledgeable of the past. Loved very second.

To round-off an enjoyable day. BadBadNotGood @ Bristo Place. A very young crowd, to hear a very young band confidently ripping up the rule book, and pursuing an exciting new direction. Excellent!