Lots of interesting music this week, particularly on Saturday. As often seems to be the case, when there is a lot on you need to be in at least two places at once to catch it all.
Thursday 21st February
Stuart Brown Quartet
Glasgow Art Club, 8pm. £7/£5.
Drummer Stu Brown with his new quartet, which has the very promising line-up of Brian Molley on sax, clarinet and flute, Tom Gibbs on piano and accordion, and Mario Caribé on bass. They’ll be playing Brown’s own compositions, and we can expect to hear “wonky tangos and quirky retro swing juxtaposed with contemporary jazz and improvisation”.
Saturday 23rd February
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Paolo Fresu
Royal Conservatoire, 7.30pm. SOLD OUT.
Sardinian trumpeter Fresu is guest soloist with the SNJO for performances of Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool and Miles Ahead. The unusual orchestration Gil Evans used for these arrangements means that it’s a rather different version of the SNJO from usual, with a much depleted sax section and the addition of several french horns. If you have been lucky enough to get tickets for this, there’s a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm.
Death Shanties and The Crying Lion
The Glad Cafe, 1106a Pollokshaws Road.
No information about starting times or ticket prices on the venue web site, but most gigs here start at 8pm and are under a tenner. Indeed, some of them are free.
Death Shanties are “a new mixed media, balls to the wall free jazz group”, featuring drummer Alex Neilson (who usually plays in indie band Trembling Bells), sax player Sybren Renema and visual artist Lucy Stein. Slightly more soberly, they’ve also been described as combining “references to Medieval music, Sea Shanties and Field Hollars with the ecstatic cry of classic 1960s fire music”. Support from acapella group The Crying Lion, who include members of Trembling Bells and Muldoon’s Picnic.
The Roller Trio and Federation of the Disco Pimp
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. 8pm, £7.
Super-hip MOBO and Mercury Music Prize nominated jazz-rock trio from Leeds, supported by Glasgow’s own funkmeisters. Actually, from what I’ve heard of them, the Roller Trio are pretty good, not just this year’s token noisy electric jazz band that hipsters who don’t like jazz mistake for the cutting edge.
Sunday 24th February
Nigel Clark and Friends
Cafe Cossachok, King Street. 9pm, £6.
Excellent acoustic guitarist, one of Carol Kidd’s regular accompanists, with special guests. There’s also a £20 two-course meal plus concert deal available from 6pm on.
Monday 25th February
Blue Monday with Paolo Fresu
Royal Conservatoire, 7.30pm, £8.
Paolo Fresu rounds off his Scottish dates with the SNJO by playing with a band made up of students from the RCS’s jazz degree courses.
If, like me, you’re going to hear the SNJO on Saturday, here’s a video of the Roller Trio in moody black and white: