There are some albums due out in the next few months which will be of interest to anyone keen to keep up-to-date with what’s happening on the Scottish jazz scene.
The first, due out imminently, is Konrad Wiszniewski’s New Focus, a sort of sequel to Stan Getz’s classic saxophone-and-strings album Focus. The project received glowing reviews when it was performed at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival last year, so it’s good to know it’s been recorded. My slight concern about the recent success of Brass Jaw was that the members didn’t seem to be spending as much time on their individual music as they used to, but this is one of a couple of recent announcements which show that that band hasn’t taken over their lives completely. I’ve always greatly enjoyed Konrad’s playing and am very much looking forward to hearing this. The other musicians involved are pianist Euan Stevenson (who did the arrangements), the classy rhythm section of Michael Janisch on bass and Alyn Cosker on drums, and the Glasgow String Quartet. You can pre-order it on Konrad’s website.
Next up is Euan Burton‘s new album, Occurrences which is released on May 14 on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label. He’s leading a fine band of Will Vinson on saxes, Mark McKnight on guitar, Steve Hamilton on drums, and James Maddren on drums. Anything any of these people play on is more-or-less guaranteed to be worth listening to. The band are undertaking a short tour in early May to promote the album: four dates in Scotland, plus ones in Birmingham and London. The Glasgow show will be on Wednesday May 2 at Stereo.
Finally, although there still seems to be no definite release date announced, the SNJO‘s album with Arild Andersen is due out on ECM later this year. The most specific information I’ve seen about it is on Andersen’s website: it’s to be called Celebration, includes compositions by Chick Corea, Tryvge Seim, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Dave Holland and Andersen himself, and will be out in “Spring 2012”. If you follow the link, you can hear a preview of one of the tracks. It’s great to see what has evolved into one of Europe’s best large jazz ensembles getting the major label release it deserves.