In July 1953, according to showbiz legend, the Jazz Voice of the 20th Century made the long journey from Palm Springs, USA to Dundee Scotland, only to be greeted by a tide of rampant apathy. The story goes that Ol’ Blues Eyes flopped spectacularly at the city’s cavernous Caird Hall in front of a small […]Read more "Frank Sinatra’s Visit to Dundee and Carnoustie – An Alternative Mythology"
A week is a long time to be lost for words, but it’s taken seven days to recover my wits after yet another outstanding performance from the jazzilicious Fat Suit. The fourteen-piece funk driven, jazz-informed and roots-minded have signally nailed down contemporary thinking on musical eclecticism, but they’ve also advanced in leaps and bounds as […]Read more "Generation Jazz: Fat-Suit and Friends at The Gardyne Theatre 20.3.15"
If songs were paintings then Samantha Whates would be in demand as both a miniaturist and as a landscape artist. Most of her songs are self-portraits, but some place her in as a figure in a landscape or, perhaps more accurately a country of the mind. If this sounds unnecessarily convoluted, then bear with me. […]Read more "The Girl in the Picture – New Songs from Samantha Whates"
It’s another night at Hospitalfield Jazz and another capacity crowd for an evening of the most visceral music ever made. This time it’s drummer Tom Gordon testifying on behalf of Count Basie with a seven-piece band punching big band classics well above it’s modest weight in numbers. As usual, there is a full house, warm […]Read more "A Gentle Punch – The Tom Gordon Count Basie Septet Live at Hospitalfield 31.1.15"
Jim Moray and Sam Carter must be valiant souls to put together a band like False Lights. Not only have they formed a rather expensive six-piece electric band, they also fearlessly describe the music they make as folk-rock. This is terminology that invites prejudice and preconception in equal measure, but it’s okay, you can put […]Read more "Wrecking Crew: False Lights Rock The Ages on “Salvor”"
If the only multinationals involved in takeover bids were bands like Dallahan, then I might not be so hostile to expansionist ambitions. The Edinburgh-based roots riot known as Dallahan draw their membership from very different countries, but their new album When The Day Is On The Turn is the happy result of enthusiastically shared cultural […]Read more "Dallahan: Great Company When The Day Is On The Turn"
One good thing about the current wave of folk-orientated song writing is that it is largely inclusive, democratic, truthful and emphatically multi-cultural. Russian-born Daria Kulesh, whose solo album Eternal Child due out this month springs from a strong European folk tradition of frankness, is a case in point. If her name were not clue […]Read more "Eyes Wide Open: Daria Kulesh’s Observations of the Eternal Child"