Edinburgh Fringe – LJN writers’ pick of the jazz

The Edinburgh Fringe programme is out. There is a decent smattering of jazz alongside all the comedy and other stuff. We asked three of our writers for their tips: Mark McKergow Big gig: Scottish Jazz and Beyond –  A Night At the Queens Hall. Tuesday 13 August, Queens Hall: Three of Scotland’s leading jazz groups each play a set in this full evening show with guitarist Graeme Stephen’s The River, pianist Fergus McCreadie’s Trio and Tom Bancroft’s In Common. The three groups are also playing solo shows elsewhere in the festival including at the amazing Pianodrome (constructed entirely from upcycled pianos!).

Ali Affleck (Publicity photo)

Hidden treasure: Red Hot Rhythm Makers – 1890-1930: The Uncrowned Queens of Blues, Hot Jazz and Hokum from New Orleans to Memphis.  5, 6, 8, 9, 16-18, 20-24 August, various venues: Six women featuring the cream of vintage jazz and blues talent in Scotland, led by singer and washboard virtuoso Ali Affleck. Intriguing gig: Sarah Jane Morris – Sweet Little Mystery. 31 July – 11 August, Assembly George Square Studios: Sarah Jane Morris brings her legendary strong and passionate vocal skills to bear on the music of the late John Martyn in this new show. (And, by the way, Mark himself can be found performing with the Sound of Seventeen Big Band, Wednesday 21 August, St Andrew’s and St George’s West, George Street, 7.30pm.) Rob Adams

Brian Molley
(Publicity photo)

Big gig: Brian Molley Quintet Play Jazz Samba, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August, Jazz Bar: Brian Molley is a classy tenor saxophonist with a concise, swinging style that makes him an ideal candidate to celebrate and re-imagine this Stan Getz-Charlie Byrd classic of Brazilian-influenced jazz in the company of a band including Brazilian-born, locally based bassist Mario Caribe. Hidden treasure: Flamenco Jazz, Saturdays 3, 10, 17 and 24 August 11pm (also Sunday 4, 9:15pm), C visa: Guitarist Ricardo Garcia has a long-term engagement with the Fringe and a deserved reputation for quality performances. His Flamenco Jazz quartet, featuring musicians from Scotland and Japan, as well as Spain, invariably offers melodic creativity, Andalusian heat and the sound of surprise. Intriguing gig: ‘The Koln Concert’ Concert, Thursday 15 August, Stockbridge Church: Dorian Ford takes on one of the great solo piano recordings and the album that arguably more than any other brought Keith Jarrett the worldwide audience he enjoys today. Ford is a Berklee alumnus and Chick Corea Jazz Masters Award-winner with a CV to suggest he can rise to the challenge of recreating an iconic event. Patrick Hadfield

Savourna Stevenson
(Publicity photo)

Big gig: Art Blakey Centennial – Valery Ponomarev Quintet 21-25 August, Jazz Bar: Ponomarev played with the Jazz Messengers, and his show at this year’s Fridge celebrates Art Blakey’s centenary. Hidden treasure: Colin Steele and Brian Kellock recreate Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong’s famous recording 4-5 and 7-9 August, Jazz Bar: Last year Steele and Kellock commemorated the music of Mary Poppins (which gets another magical outing this year); this time, they examine the single recoding made by two of jazz’s major artists. Intriguing gig: Savourna Stevenson & Steve Kettley 11 and 18 August, Acoustic Music Centre @ UCC: Stevenson (clarsach) and Kettley (saxophones) cross genres between traditional Celtic music, jazz and free improvisation and come up with something startling and new. LINK: 2019 Edinburgh Fringe

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