Day 10 Diary (Sunday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
It’s been quite a Festival. Experienced some great music, and shot some good pics. Been a good Festival this year in so many ways. Sadly, at the end of tonight everything gets packed away until 2014.
But before that …
Ultra High Flemenco, Bristo Place. Four supremely talented Spanish musicians delivering an intoxicating Flamenco/Jazz fusion. Loved it.
Champion Fulton Trio, Palazzo Spiegeltent. Was at her concert earlier in the week. Sat in on the sound check for this one, which was interesting. Different Trio from the one that played at Bristo. The lady clearly knows what she wants from her team, and let them know it. Enjoyed what I heard of the performance, but had to move on quickly to what was the final concert for this year…
… and so to what should have been the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet with the Phil Bancroft Quartet in support. Like Phil’s muscular sax playing, which was ably supported by his new band.
I had been looking forward to PSQ since this year’s programme was announced. Been a fan of the man since the early days when it was expected that he would take on the tenor sax colossus role, following the untimely death of Coltrane. On this occasion, it sadly wasn’t to be. Understand the great man is unwell. Get well soon PS, next year perhaps ……
Day 10 Diary (Sunday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Day 9 Diary (Saturday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013.
The penultimate day of this year’s Festival.
Saturday Blues Afternoon at the Spiegeltent. 3 bands, around an hour set each. Missed the first. Second up, Dana Dixon Band with special guest (for a few numbers) Terry Harmonica Bean. Perfect for a relaxing Saturday afternoon. Mix of Texas, Chicago, rockabilly, and R&B. Terry Harmonica Bean, fantastic delta blues harmonica player and singer. Didn’t get the name of the last band. Excellent band lead by a blues diva, who was also rather capable on flute.
Choro Escoces, Bristo Place. Jazz to a Brazilian beat. Nice!
Fred Wesley & the New JB’s at Queen’s Hall. Funk and Soul from this master. Ex James Brown Band trombonist and arranger fronting this tight outfit delivering a hot mix of jazz, R&B, and hard driving funk. “100% funky stuff for party people” FW.
… And finally. My anticipated highlight of the Festival so far (I wasn’t disappointed). The brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, Neil Coweley Trio at Bristo Place. No noodling around for this lot. Full on power. Maximum respect, Neil Cowley (piano), Rex Horam (bass & epic beard), Evan Jenkins (drums).
Day 8 Diary (Friday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013.
… or should that be Frantic Friday. Bit of a logistics nightmare trying to get around everything planned for today.
First up Champian Fulton Trio at Bristo. Muture and assure voice from one so young. Good, but a little too mannered on some tunes for my taste.
Submotion Orchestra with support at the Liquid Rooms. Soul, jazz, electronic very much to my taste, but as I’ve said before, I really don’t think this venue provides the best experience to hear music as it should be heard. I ain’t no clubbier!
Euan Burton Quartet with Walter Smith III at Bristo. Energetic, but with distinctive melody and structure. Excellent tenor sax from Smith to add to the mix.
Red Stripe Band, Queen’s Hall. Blues and boogie-woogie. Good crowd pleasing stuff. I remained a little un-moved.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Spiegeltent. Loved it as did the big appreciative audience. Country Blues at it’s best. Great playing, and a great show.
Four Corners featuring Haggis Horns at Bristo. DJ’s playing funk, soul, hip hop, reggae, Latin. Great sounds, even I was dancing (discretely). Haggis Horns, filling the dance floor with their take on northern soul, breakbeats, afrobeat, soul, and hip hop.
Day 7 Diary (Thursday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
First of two days where the logistics of covering what I want to cover gets a bit complicated.
Haftor Medbøe and his band, Bristo Place. Heard this brilliant guitarist for the first time last year with singer and sax. This time with a band of Scandinavian players (trumpet, piano, bass, drums). Beautiful and atmospheric music. Wish I had been able to stay longer.
Malene Mortensen, Spiegeltent. Great voice, great timing, and interesting arrangements from jazz standards to soul and pop. The visuals were also pretty good.
Stone Islands, Queen’s Hall. Six Scots, six Italians. Building on last years collaboration between Enzo Favata, Colin Steele, and Dave Milligan. Beautiful melodies, inspired playing. Jazz with a hint of folk. Very satisfying.
Blues N Trouble, Speigeltent. Hard driving, good time blues and boogie. A good way to end my night.
Day 6 Diary (Wednesday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Start of the evening with a visit to Bristo Place for the double bill of Espen Eriksen & Gunar Halle followed by Kekko Fornarelli Trio (KFT). Only caught the last two numbers by Espen & Gunar, but sounded good. KFT, very much in the EST mould, a good place to be. Melodic, atmospheric, a perfect jazz with a hint of rock brew.
Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert, Queen’s Hall. What can I say that could do this performance justice. Playing to a full house. Big band + SCO Chorus + two vocal soloists + tap dancing. Ellington considers this to be the most important thing that he ever did. I have to agree. I’m not a religious person, but this music took you to some other, higher place.
Rounded of the evening with two excellent sets back at Bristo. First up Euan Stevenson Vilnius Quartet. Scotland meets Lithuania. Followed by the Konrad Wiszniewski Quartet. Great compositions, great passionate playing from both bands.
Day 5 Diary (Tuesday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Stefan Grossman, Bristo Place. Full house at the venue for a rare solo show from this blues guitar maestro. The master of style from ragtime to country blues.
Locus, at the Jazz Bar. First time during the Festival at this great little venue. Talented young players with a liking for Shorter and Methany. I predict a bright future.
Malcolm MacFarlane Grooveyard + Jacqui Hicks. Guitarist MacFarlane, leading a new band that plays funky soul jazz. Jacqui, the most soulfull of vocalists brought the perfect addition to the heady mix.
Mopti at the Jazz Bar. Contemporary modern jazz from this excellent Norwegian 5 piece.
Day 4 Diary (Monday) Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
A lot of processing today, both what I shot yesterday and the concerts in the evening.
Mats Up - “Same Pictures, New Exhibition” a reworking of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an exhibition” (does anyone remember the ELP prog rock version?) by this Swiss 7 piece. Brilliant, intelligent playing. A real pity that it was such a small audience at Bristo Place
Snarky Puppy at QH. The one I had been looking forward too. I wasn’t disappointed. Good to hear a band on stage that are so in sync. Slipped into their groove at the start and stayed there.
McCrary Sisters (Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alreda), Spiegeltent. Gospel, R & B, blues, funk and soul. These ladies can sing. Went home happy.
Day 3 (Sunday), Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Carnival Time! Colour, sounds and fun for everyone on Princes St and in the gardens, on a sunny afternoon.
Michael Reis Trio, young band with potential. Sound very much in the EST (RIP) camp. As I probably have everything that EST recorded, I did enjoy. Double bill with Sue MacKenzie Dark Grooves. Saxophonist with Salsa Celtica and Scottish Sax Ensemble. Here fronting her own quartet (sax, cello, base, drums) Rich and atmospheric. Enjoyed!
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Cajun time. Excellent band. Music for a hot two-step. The problem was the audience. Older profile who wanted to sit rather than use the dance floor, and complained about those blocking their view on said dance floor.
Funky Style Brass. Party time. Behind the fishnets, chicken costume, and general lunacy is a terrific 9 piece. Think Madness but switch the Rude Boy suites for fancy dress and you get the idea. The audience, including myself loved it!
Day 2 - Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Sunny afternoon in the Grassmarket at the Mardi Gras. Fun in the sun. Took a lot of shots on film which will have to wait until Monday before being processed.
Martin Kershaw Quartet, at Bristol Square. Really starting to like this venue. Acoustic is excellent, and it’s a really good space to move around to get the best shooting angles, especially from the two balconies, (though would have been even better to have had a little bit of space directly in front of the stage). Head and heart music, just what I like.
Change of pace and scene … To the Liquid Rooms for the Hidden Orchestra plus projection from Lumen. Have to be honest, don’t like this space, and I don’t think it does the Orchestra’s music justice. Have heard them a couple of time at QH, which for me works much better. Didn’t stay long.
Back to Bristo and Tony King’s ‘Get on Up’. Everything James Brown. Great vocals and a great band put together by Colin Steele. What’s not to like.
Day 1 - Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Normal day at work, broken up by my first visit to The Club at the Tron Kirk at lunchtime. Great idea to have this temporary venue as an all day, drop in club during the Festival. Programme changes each day.
First concert proper, Brian Kellock Copenhagen Trio, Bristol Place. Excellent transformation of this space into a rather nifty venue. Good concert though I didn’t hang around long.
Next up, Queens Hall, to hear Tia Fuller and her band. Surprisingly large (and mixed) audience. Good high energy stuff, and those shoes.
To the Speigeltent and the Hot 8 Brass Band. Sell out (young) crowd, who got into their groove to this excellent New Orleans band.
..and lastly (but certainly not least) to The California Honeydrops again at Bristol Place. I had heard them on record (Spotify), but studio recording doesn’t do them justice. Really need to be experienced live. Excellent stuff. My highlight of Day 1.