Alan Barnes, Anders Bergcrantz, Ben Davis, Bobby Wellins, Brass Jaw, Chris Stout, Dave O'Higgins, David Patrick, Eric Alexander, Fraser Fifield, Graeme Stephen, Jacob Karlzon, Jacques Loussier, John Scofield, Justin Currie, Konrad Wiszniewski, Miles Davis, Omar Hakim, Phil Bancroft, Rachel Z, Ryan Quigley Big Band, SNJO
I can’t quite believe that it’s March already. But it is. The month looks like having plenty of interesting jazz in it, both from big name international players and from locals. Here are some of my highlights.
Perhaps the biggest single events are the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s concerts with John Scofield, “Loud Jazz and Electric Miles”. They will be playing a mixture of compositions by John Scofield and late-period Miles Davis pieces.They’re appearing at the RSAMD on Saturday 6th March at 7.30pm, with other dates in Edinburgh (5th) and Stirling (7th). Note that if you buy a ticket for this and April’s SNJO concert with a Japanese drum troupe at the same time you’ll get that one at a reduced price. The List has a preview of the concerts.
Another visiting American is pianist and keyboard player Rachel Z, a former member of Steps Ahead and Wayne Shorter’s band. Unfortunately she hasn’t got any Glasgow gigs lined up, but will be playing at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on the 12th and 13th, with a band which includes top drummer Omar Hakim.
Guitarist Graeme Stephen is currently touring with an interesting-looking jazz-folk septet which includes Basquiat Strings cellist Ben Davis, Phil Bancroft and Fraser Fifield on saxes, and fiddler Chris Stout. It’s part of the Scottish Arts Council’s admirable Tune Up initiative which takes live music to places which aren’t on the normal gigging circuits, so they’re playing Banchory, Peebles and Castle Douglas as well as the usual big towns. The tour finishes in Glasgow on Sunday 7th. Their Edinburgh performance got a 4-star review in the Herald.
Ryan Quigley’s Big Band are also touring, with ex-Del Amitri singer Justin Currie on vocals. Their Glasgow gig, on Friday 12th, is at the Platform venue in Easterhouse. Once again, it’s a Tune Up tour, this time taking in Livingston, Dunfermline and Biggar as well as venues on the outer edges of Glasgow and Edinburgh (Musselburgh, if you want to be precise).
The Aberdeen Jazz Festival returns after a gap of a couple of years. It runs from Wednesday 10th to Sunday 14th and the artists appearing include Dave O’Higgins, Eric Alexander, Alan Barnes, Anders Bergcrantz and Jacob Karlzon.
Bobby Wellins is back in Scotland toward the end of the month, backed by the David Patrick trio. His Glasgow concert on the 28th was originally billed as featuring a two tenor line-up with Konrad Wiszniewski as second horn, but it’s apparently now just going to feature Bobby Wellins on his own. I think Konrad’s playing the Gateshead International Jazz Festival that weekend with Brass Jaw and the SNJO.
Finally, “Plays Bach” pianist Jacques Loussier is at the City Hall on the afternoon of the 21st. He’ll be playing Bach. And Vivaldi. And Chopin. In jazz versions.