Corrie Dick’s Sun Swells
(Jazz Hastings at East Hastings Sea Angling Association. The Stade, Hastings. 12 September 2023. Review by Adam McCulloch)
Glaswegian drummer Corrie Dick’s musical imagination and desire to create music that speaks to the heart was abundantly clear on this Jazz Hastings tour date for his Sun Swells band. Fronted by the entrancing vocals of Swede Rebecka Edlund, deploying bird-like trills and whistles alongside spoken word and melodic lines of purity, the band offers a constant stream of uplifting sonic moments. Rob Luft’s sensitively judged effects and intricate playing, Laura Jurd’s lyrical trumpet and Elliot Galvin’s sinuous piano interwove over Dick’s drum narratives and the deep groove of Calum Gourlay’s double bass to captivate a full house happy to hear original music.
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Every member of the youthful sextet clearly understood and was comfortable with their place in the music, perhaps the result of playing together in different contexts at the likes of Trinity Laban and the Royal Academy of Music in recent years.
The East Hastings Sea Angling Association at the Stade, east Hastings is among the UK’s most memorable jazz venues. Its elevated position on the shingle right by the Channel, with a balcony open to the southern sky, seemed a perfect setting for the Sun Swells music, whose lyrics often referred to the sea, wide vistas and natural beauty. Infused with Celtic, Nordic and, to my ear, African influences, pieces such as “Sinking”, “Golden Flower” and “She Speaks” were delivered not so much as individual tunes but as parts of a whole, with just the occasional announcement by Dick to break things up. Speaking without a mic, Dick was somewhat inaudible but the soundscapes, accessible grooves, sweeping chord changes, delicate but purposeful vocals did all the talking necessary.
This is a highly accomplished band with an array of influences voiced through each individual instrument and collectively via deeply felt, authentic composition and a profound sense of interplay.
Corrie Dick: drums/ bandleader/compositions
Rebecka Edlund: vocals
Elliot Galvin: piano
Calum Gourlay: bass
Laura Jurd: trumpet
Rob Luft: guitar
FORTHCOMING TOUR DATES – FULL LIST
23/10/23: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
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