The full programme for this year’s Glasgow International Jazz Festival, which runs from Wednesday 26th June to Sunday 30th June, was published yesterday. It’s a very interesting line-up: it’s rather short of big jazz names (the most famous guests are from the edges of jazz – The Blind Boys of Alabama, Georgie Fame, Burt Bacharach), but when you check out the list in more detail, there are some really interesting bands playing, including several from overseas which I know very little about. What does seem to be missing though, are performers from the mid-to-upper range of the London scene: no Liam Noble or Stan Sulzmann or Nikki Iles or Empirical or….
Anyway, the full list, including venues, times and prices, is on the Glasgow Jazzfest website, but here are some of the things which caught my eye.
- Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevenson, “New Focus”. Special pre-festival performance of music from their excellent recent jazz quartet plus string quartet album.
- Leo Blanco. Jaw-droppingly good Venezuelan pianist playing a solo set based on his forthcoming “Pianoforte” album.
- Carol Kidd and Friends – the friends being her regular band of Paul Harrison (piano), Nigel Clark (guitar), Kenny Ellis (bass) and Stu Ritchie (drums).
- Dutch-German duo of Stevko Busch on piano and alto saxophonist Paul van Kemenade. Their music is intriguingly descibed as including elements of both South African and traditional Russian music.
- David Carnegie Trio – The Original Unit. Barbadian trio who apparently combine “elements of Caribbean music, straight-ahead jazz, soul, electronica and free improvisation”.
- Laura MacDonald Quartet. First Glasgow gig in a while by the lyrical alto player, who’s also a fine composer and arrangment. She’s apparently got a new album coming out next year.
- Kevin Brady Trio featuring Bill Carrothers. Irish drummer Brady with a band featuring US pianist Bill Carrothers, who’s one of those marvellously subtle players who doesn’t play anything flash, but can really dig into the heart of a song and find lots of new things to say with the material.
- Snarky Puppy. Superhip jazz-funk band from North Texas. A major act in the making, or just flavour of the moment? Supported by Malcolm Macfarlane’s Grooveyard, who’ll be playing a set of 60s and 70s soul-jazz.
- Chris Dave and the Drumhedz. More jazz-funk, this time led by a drummer who’s worked with Robert Glasper, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Adele and many others.
- Pete Johnstone Trio. 2012 winner of the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, pianist and organist Johnstone is already very good and seems to get better every time I hear him.
- Burt Bacharach. One of the great post-war songwriters. But jazz?
- Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. Two workshops, one for young children, the other for all ages, plus an afternoon performance of pieces inspired by the work of poet Edwin Morgan.
- The Ames Room. “Minimal Maximal Terror Jazz” if you’re any the wiser. My guess is they play noisy free jazz. They’re a sax, bass and drums trio from Australia.
- Georgie Fame. Jazzy singing and organ playing from a legend of the British rhythm and blues scene.
- Brodie Jarvie Septet. Seven-piece led by a fine young bass player and very promising composer and arranger.
- Spoken Mirror – Malcolm Macfarlane and Allon Beauvoisin. New duo project from guitarist Macfarlane and Brass Jaw baritone sax player Beauvoisin.
- Matthew Halsall and GoGo Penguin. Double bill featuring two up-and-coming Manchester bands, one lead by trumpeter Halsall, the other an eccentrically-named piano trio.
- Stan Tracey and Bobby Wellins. Quartet featuring two of the all-time greats of British jazz. Support set from the alto and piano duo of Paul Towndrow and Steve Hamilton.