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Empirical are playing the Recital Room at the City Halls on Saturday night. The band came to prominence a couple of years ago with a very good debut album (here’s a review). Since then, the line-up has changed significantly, with only two members of that quintet – alto player Nathanial Facey and drummer Shaney Forbes – in the current version of the band. The rest of the group is now made up of bass player Tom Farmer, pianist George Fogel and vibes player Lewis Wright. Their Glasgow date is part of a tour promoting their second album, Out’n’In. It too has been getting good reviews (eg in the Guardian and All About Jazz). Their current music is a tribute to the Eric Dolphy – the album includes versions of “Hat and Beard” and “Gazzeloni” from Out to Lunch as well as originals inspired by Dolphy. Here are reviews of recent live shows from Birmingham and Gateshead; and here’s a clip of them, with guest Julian Siegel, on the video section of their web site. They go on to play Aberdeen, Perth and Stirling, but don’t seem to have an Edinburgh gig lined up.

This seems as good a place as any to link to this wonderful YouTube clip of Eric Dolphy playing “Meditations on Integration” in Charles Mingus’s band. Magnificent stuff.

Big Guitar Weekend

The RSAMD is hosting a “Big Guitar Weekend” festival of (as the name might suggest) guitar music this weekend. It looks as if it covers a wide range of styles of acoustic guitar music (just don’t expect any howling feedback-drenched shredathons), with the performances most relevant to a jazz audience being the Scottish Guitar Quartet on Friday 13th at 9.30pm, and Martin Taylor playing as part of the Guitar Label showcase at 7.30 on Sunday. Videos of them, and some of the other participants, are available on the video page of the Big Guitar Weekend web site.

Dundee Jazz Festival

Martin Taylor is also appearing at the Dundee Jazz Festival, which starts on Friday the 13th and ends on Sunday 22nd. He’s at the Apex Hotel on the opening night alongside singer Alison Burns. Other acts on the opening weekend are Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra (Saturday evening) and local trad band The East Coast Jazzmen at lunchtime on Sunday. Wednesday 18th sees a gig by Mercy Mercy Mercy, a new band put together by Colin Steele and Martin Kershaw to perform music by the Adderley brothers. This should be interesting, particularly if, like Kershaw’s earlier Charlie Parker Project, they do new arrangements of the pieces rather than simply playing them the way they were done on record. Full details of these gigs, and the rest of the programme, on the Dundee Jazz Festival web site.