The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has just started. It’s dominated by comedy and drama, but buried away in among it all, you can find a bit of jazz, mainly but not exclusively at the Jazz Bar in Chambers Street, St Brides Acoustic Music Centre in Dalry, and the Outhouse bar in Broughton Street Lane.
The main news, and the saddest, is that the fine American singer Barbara Morrison has been forced to cancel her 15-night residency at the Outhouse because of health problems. She’s had to have a leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes. The cost of the treatment and her current inability to work means that she’s having serious financial problems. Her place on the Fringe bill is being taking by a variety of Scottish jazz acts who have agreed to donate their fee to her benefit fund. Find out who’s playing when at http://www.outhouse-edinburgh.co.uk/Line_up.html. You can also donate directly on her website, http://www.barbaramorrison.com.
Of the stuff that is on, here’s my selection for the first week of the Fringe, up until Sunday 14th. For more information about them, and to find out what else is on, go to the Fringe website. I’ve only given the standard prices: there are concessions and occasional special offers available on some of them.
Orkney Jazz at the Guildford. Guildford Arms, West Register Street. 9pm, free.
Mini-festival of jazz from traditional to swing, organised by Ken Ramage. It’s sponsored by Orkney Brewery, so you’re guaranteed good beer as well as good music. Orkney Jazz at the Guildford programme.
Louis Durra Trio. The Jazz Bar. 1pm, £4.
Los Angeles pianist with a wide-ranging repertoire, from jazz standards through to Bob Dylan and Massive Attack.
Magdalena Reising. The Jazz Bar. 4pm (11th) or 7pm (12th). £7.
Polish singer and harpist (orchestral harp, not moothie) backed by pianist Louis Durra and bassist Graham Robb.
Alex Yellowlees Gypsy Jazz Quartet. St Brides, 8.30pm, £12.
Grappelli – Reinhardt style jazz from fiddler Yellowlees, backed by Ged Brockie and Mike Nesbit on guitars and Kenny Ellis on bass.
And finally, here’s Barbara Morrison in happier times.