Los Acousticos Bandidos

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We had a super evening of brilliant  music from ‘Los Acousticos Bandidos’, the double act of Colin Black and Stuart Cruikshank on acoustic guitars who took us  through a medley of familiar jazz standards mixed in with some upbeat Stevie Wonder greats.

Colin and Stuart kicked off with ‘Well you needn’t’ (Thelonious Monk) followed by ‘Made for Wesley’ (Jimmy Rosenburg); ‘Minor Swing’ (Django Reinhardt & Stefan Grappelli); ‘Sunny’(Bobby Hebb); ‘Coquette’ (Django Reinhardt); ‘The Chicken’(Pee Wee Ellis); ‘Sir Duke’(Stevie Wonder); ‘Isn’t she lovely’ (Stevie Wonder); ‘Summertime’ (George Gershwin); ‘Swing 42’ (Django Reinhardt); ‘All Blues’ (Miles Davis); ‘Blues for Django’ (Larry Coryell);

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A sublime demonstration of  acoustic playing in the jazz genre, Colin and Stuart did justice to every song. Their fusion, counterpointing and mirroring was mesmerizing. Gentlemen, we await your return and thank you for terrific playing, a real privilege to listen to you both.

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BLACK ISLE JAZZUARY

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Great start to 2020 with the Black Isle Jazz band featuring Pat Strachan [Trombone, vocals], Roy Stevenson[ Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet], Mike Mackenzie [Tenor,Alto, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet], Derek Mathieson [Guitar], Dave Swan [Bass] and Finlay Grant [Drums]. The band took us on a voyage spanning five decades including the music of Louis Armstrong, Leonello Casucci, Rosetta Haynes, Benny Golson, Vernon Duke, ‘Fats’ Waller, Herbie Hancock, Kurt Weill and Sonny Rollins.

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Pat was upbeat and almost jovial in his trombone playing, interspersed with singing akin to Burl Ives. Mike Mackenzie once again showed his superb versatility on the saxes and clarinet. Roy likewise, but with a mellow timbre that belies his virtuoso playing. Derek, Dave and Finlay, splendid rhythm support and balance for this Jazzuary sextet.

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KILNER, BIRSE, LOWIT & GLASSBY

 

What a fantastic evening to round off 2019 with Matthew Kilner    [Tenor Sax], Neil Birse [Keyboard], Pete Lowit [Double Bass] and Richard Glassby [ Percussion].

It was a real delight to have Matthew, Neil and Richard return to MJC and of course to welcome back the ubiquitous Pete Lowit [Honorary Citizen of Elgin]. The band took us through some great favourites including:

‘If I should lose you’ [Ralph Ranger]; ‘Someday my prince will come’ [Frank Churchill]; ‘Beatrice’ [Sam Rivers]; ‘Bittersweet’ [Sam Rivers]; ‘Out of nowhere’ [Johnny Green]; ‘Black Nile’ [Wayne Shorter]; ‘Just friends’ [John Klenner]; ‘Boogie stop shuffle’ [Charlie Mingus]; ‘Infant Eyes’ [Wayne Shorter]; ‘Bye bye blackbird’ [Ray Henderson] and  ‘Solar’ [Miles Davis].

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Matthew was mesmerizing with his solo breaks, squeezing every last bit of energy from his sax. Neil’s keyboard playing cast a web and drew in the other instruments with musical tentacles. Pete seemed to be energised by what was going on around him and the rich tones from the double bass spoke volumes on Charlie Mingus’ ‘boogie’. Last, but by no means least, Richard’s  inventive and energised playing was inspirational to some of the younger members of the appreciative audience. This was percussion as they had never heard it before. We wait impatiently for your return gentlemen.  

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HOUSE BAND

Colin Henderson [Baritone and Alto Sax, Flute], Graeme Nairn [Guitar], Bill Jannetta [Electric Bass], Fabrizio Conti [Drums].

A super evening with the House Band, a real tonic to escape all the politics on UK Election night.  The band had a refreshing mix of some great  jazz standards and wonderful banter/ lighthearted digs at each other [ how on earth did they get through rehearsals?!]. Thank you gentlemen for playing high quality jazz.

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‘Embraceable You’ [George Gershwin]; ‘Mr PC’ [John Coltrane]; ‘But not for me’ [George Gershwin]; ‘Moonlight in Vermont’ [Karl Suessdorf]; ‘What a difference a day makes’ [Att Sarah Vaughan]; ‘Birks Works’ [ Dizzie Gillespie];  ‘Look to the sky’ [ Antonio Carlos Jobim]; ‘Hackensack’ [Thelonious Monk]; ‘Time after time’ [Jule Styne]; ‘Bubbles, bangles, beads’ [Robert Wright/George Forrest]; ‘In the wee small hours of the morning’ [David Mann]; ‘I should care’ [Axel Stordahl /Paul Weston];  ‘Short stop’ [Shorty Rogers].

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SESSION A96

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Brilliant evening with Fraser Peterkin-Aberdeen (Drums), Pete Lowit-Aboyne (Double Bass), Colin Henderson- Elgin (Baritone and Tenor Sax), John Hall-Nairn (Keyboard) and Brian Keddie-Inverness (Trombone).

The band took us  through some familiar jazz standards and with cameos by all musicians, the following turned in to some epic time pieces including: ‘Why get up?’ (Bill Carter);‘So what’(Miles Davis); ‘Old Folks’ (Willard Robison); ‘Blue Monk’(Thelonious Monk); ‘Stella by Starlight’ (Victor Young); ‘Afternoon in Paris’(John Lewis); ‘Nardis’(Bill Williams); ‘The right time’(Dave Cliff); ‘Gone with the wind’ (Allie Wrubel).

 

It was great to see Brian Keddie return after a long absence with some masterful playing on the trombone, Colin, superb as ever on baritone and tenor sax. The double rhythm act- Pete and Fraser, here for the third week in a row, someone give them ‘Freedom of Elgin’ or at least honorary membership of Morayshire. Much has been said about these two superb Scottish jazz musicians but do check out Fraser’s Instagram, some great jamming with Latin American friends. Also look at Fraser on MJC Instagram with a solo on Allie Wrubel’s ‘Gone with the wind ’ Last but by no means least, John Hall on keyboard was like a digit superglue, John’s rich tones provided a kind of alchemy for the band. The riff on Thelonius Monk’s ‘Blue Monk’ was much appreciated John(see clip on MJC Instagram). Gentlemen, thank you for a great evening of jazz at Moray Jazz Club, proud presenters of live jazz in Scotland ever week.

TRIO NADURRA

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We welcomed back after a year’s absence one of the best jazz trios this side of Hadrian’s Wall. Nadurra are Barry Middleton [Keyboard], Pete Lowit [Double Bass] and  Fraser Peterkin (Drums) . What an evening this turned out to be with a mix of familiar jazz standards and Barry’s originals including ‘Juju’ [Wayne Shorter]; ‘500 miles high’ [Chick Corea]; Black Narcissus‘ [Jo Henderson]; ‘Head First‘ [Barry Middleton]; ‘Very early’ [Bill Evans]; ‘Angel Eyes‘ [Matt Dennis]; ‘Windows’ [Chick Corea]; ‘Mumtaz‘ [Barry Middleton]; ‘Fledged’ [Barry Middleton]; ‘Freedom Jazz Dance‘ [Miles Davis]; ‘Naima’ [John  Coltrane].

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It’s difficult to pick any one stand out piece quite simply because every element of the evening’s jazz treat was standout. Surely this Trio deserve to be listened to in jazz clubs not just here in North East Scotland but in the Central Belt and down South. 

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All three musicians fused together brilliantly  but were quirky as individuals and this is what made the evening so entertaining. Barry was intimate with his keyboard, music flowed from his head through to his fingers tips and out to us; Pete is one of the best bass players in Scotland and there are many comments on his playing elsewhere on this blog. Fraser likewise, but what is it that gets the audience holding their breadth? He makes his drum kit speak; you never know if the solo has finished  and then he’s away -primeval meets African beat. Epic.

MARIO JANNETTA’S BIG BAND NIGHT

 

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Brilliant evening with Mario’s Big Band at Elgin City Football Club. The seventeen member band  has been performing since 1982 and consists of  five saxophones, three trombones, four trumpets, drums, bass, guitar and piano, with Kenny MacDonald on vocals. The band entertained an appreciative audience with some favourite and familiar  big band sounds including String of Pearls, New York, New York and Pennsylvannia Avenue. Many thanks Mario and fellow musicians for a great evening.