There are some cracking gigs coming up in the next few weeks, after what’s been a fairly quiet summer. As always seems to be the case, there’s more happening in Edinburgh than Glasgow, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing worth looking out for on this side of the country.
Glasgow (and also Edinburgh)
Phil Robson’s Immeasurable Code Quintet
Tuesday 18th September. Glasgow Art Club, Bath Street, 8pm.
Guitarist Robson’s undertaking an extensive UK tour to promote his recent album, The Immeasurable Code. Next week sees them in Scotland, where they’re at the Art Club in Bath Street on Tuesday, before playing Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar on Wednesday, Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on Friday and Lerwick Town Hall on Saturday. He’s bringing a fine band with him: Gareth Lockrane on flutes, Julian Argüelles on saxophones, Michael Janisch on bass and Ernesto Simpson on drums. Robson’s played Glasgow at least a couple of times before – with singer Christine Tobin and as one of the soloists in the SNJO’s Music of Pat Metheny concert – and was very impressive, so the chance to see him leading his own band is not to be passed up. If by any chance you can’t make it, the following night’s Edinburgh show is being recorded for Radio Three’s Jazz Line-up.
Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions).
Note that while gigs at the Art Club have usually been on Thursday nights, this one is on a TUESDAY (which means that afterwards you can stroll a couple of hundred yards along Bath Street to catch the late night session at Slouch).
Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevenson: ‘New Focus’
Thursday 27th September. Glasgow Art Club, Bath Street, 8pm.
It’s back to the more normal Thursday night for this concert, one of a series launching Wisniewski and Stevenson’s forthcoming album New Focus. New Focus is a jazz quartet plus strings effort inspired by Stan Getz’s classic LP Focus, but isn’t a mere attempt to copy it. For one thing, while Getz’s work used a small string orchestra, this is a double quartet and harp line-up. As well as Konrad Wiszniewski on tenor and Euan Stevenson on piano, there’s Michael Janisch on bass, Alyn Cosker on drums plus the Glasgow String Quartet (all of whom are members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra) and harpist Alina Bzhezinska. All the pieces on the album are composed by Konrad or Euan (who did all the string arrangements).
I’m very much looking forward to this. Jazz with strings has always been a bit problematic – it can sound terribly MOR and schmaltzy if the arrangements aren’t right, but the 2011 Edinburgh Jazz Festival concert where they tested out much of the material was apparently a great success.
Tickets for this are also £10 with £8 concessions. The band will also be at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh the night before.
Edinburgh (but not Glasgow)
Eric Alexander – Harold Mabern Quartet
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th. The Jazz Bar, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. 9pm.
Two concerts by top American post-bop tenor player Eric Alexander, in a quartet with piano legend Harold Mabern. Mabern has recorded with many of the very greatest American musicians, including Lee Morgan, Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer, Jackie McLean and Hank Mobley, as well as releasing a good few albums as leader. Admission is £12.
Unfortunately this isn’t scheduled to finish until after the last train from Edinburgh back to Glasgow has gone.
Bobby Wishart Quartet with David Newton
Friday 21st. The Jazz Bar, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. 9pm.
Glasgow sax stalwart Wishart teams up with swinging London-based pianist Newton. Expect some classy modern mainstream jazz. £6.
Darius Brubeck Quartet
Saturday 29th. The Jazz Bar, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. 9pm.
Pianist Brubeck, who’s now based in London, plays the Lockerbie Festival in the afternoon, then heads north for an evening gig. His band will include the very fine saxophonist Dave O’Higgins – a sometimes-overlooked player who’s always worth hearing. £12.
Zoe Gilby Quartet
Sunday 30th. The Jazz Bar, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. 9pm.
Newcastle’s Zoe Gilby is one of the UK’s better jazz singers (well, I think so anyway).