TRIO NADURRA

Absolute delight to have Trio Nadurra back to MJC again to play some classics plus new work and knowing this band, a great deal of improvisation. With Barry Middleton (Keyboard), Pete Lowit(Double Bass) and Fraser Peterkin(Drums) the evening’s treat was:
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‘Windows’ (Chick Corea); ‘Momtaz’ (Barry Middleton); ‘havørn (sea eagle)’ (Barry Middleton); ‘Chelsea Bridge’ (Billy Strayhorn); ‘Dipper’ (Barry Middleton); ‘Black Narcissus’ (Joe Henderson); ‘Fledged’ (Barry Middleton); ‘Fall’ (Wayne Shorter); ‘Niama’ (the wonderful John Coltrane).
Barry,Pete and Fraser took us on a journey that combined jazz standard cords with music that begged the question ‘where on earth did that come from?’. The thing about Barry is that he is a little like Miles Davis’ maxim ‘ I’ll play it and tell you what it is later’  Barry did tell us most titles, and there was a strong avian theme running through the evening (Havorn, Dipper,Fledged),and then what unravelled was a sensitivity, subtlety and sublimity coming from his keyboard. At the same time Fraser gave an almost ethereal and trance-like quality on the drums which at times was reminiscent of  the cymbal tones on Santana’s ‘Singing winds, crying beasts’ (Abraxas album).Both Barry and Fraser were glued and grounded by Pete’s reassuring Double Bass, almost as though he was a calming influence for all the  trials we are facing at the moment. Pete should play for the nation. Perhaps the most uplifting moment of the evening was in ‘Chelsea Bridge’ where Barry encouraged audience participation and improvisation, what great fun. Until we meet again gentlemen, thank you for a super evening of music, a real privilege to listen to class music in north east Scotland.
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BRIAN KEDDIE QUARTET

Good to welcome back  some familiar faces and friends of MJC as a quartet. With Brian Keddie(Trombone), Colin Black (Acoustic guitar), Bryan Chalmers (Bass guitar) and Finlay Grant (Drums), we knew we would be in for a great evening of music.

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‘Killer Joe’ [ Benny Golson] ; ‘There will never be another you’[Harry Warren   ];  ‘Gentle rain’ [ Luiz Bonfá]; ‘Naima’ [John Coltrane];  ‘Stompin at the Savoy’ [ Edgar Sampson]; ‘Waves’ [Antonio  Carlos Jobim ];   ‘’Moonlight in Vermont’ [ Karl Suessdorf and John M. Blackburn ];  ‘Favela’ [  Antônio Carlos Jobim ]; ‘Witchcraft’ [ Cy Coleman ]; ‘Stella by starlight’ [ Victor Young]; ‘ Midnight Blues’ [Kenny Burrell].

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Extraordinarily privileged to listen to Brian Keddie tonight, difficult to pick a standout number as all his playing was sublime.   Colin and Bryan were superb in support and in their own right.  Great subtlety from Bryan’s bass breaks and a great counter point to Colin’s skilful and aesthetic acoustic playing.  Finlay was mesmerising as ever with his brushes caressing his Toms after each percussion break. His face spoke volumes.  Great music tonight gentlemen, appreciated by all at MJC.
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ELAINE CRICHTON TRIO

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A great evening of music with the return of the Elaine Crichton Trio. We have not seen Elaine since last August when she brought along a young talent on the keyboard by the name of  Neil Birse. What a revelation Neil has been, returning to MJC on no less than six occasions. Elaine and Neil were accompanied on Double Bass by the perennial and  superb  Pete Lowit. All three were a showcase in how a trio can work seamlessly.

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Elain took us on a musical journey via the ‘Elaine Crichton Songbook’ with a wonderful and diverse mix of songs including: ‘you’ll going to hear from me’ [André Previn]; ‘You don’t know what love is’[Gene De Paul]; ‘Love me or leave me’(Walter Donaldson]; ‘Blue Champagne’[ Grady Watts]; ‘When the sun comes out’[Luca Manning]; ‘Social call’ [John Hendricks]’; ‘I’m hip’[Blossom Dearle]; ‘Let there be love’[Nat King Cole];  ‘Jump for joy’[Duke Ellington]; ‘Thou swell’[Richard Rogers];  ‘When sunny gets blue’[Marvin Fischer];  ‘Til there was you’[Meredith Wilson];  ‘If I should lose you’[Ralph Rainger]; ‘Pennies from heaven’[ Arthur Johnston];  ‘It’s a pity to say goodnight’[Billy Reid].

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Thank you for an evening of  superb music Elaine and best wishes for your move down to Edinburgh. If you can tear yourself away from the jazz scene there, you will be warmly welcomed back to MJC in the future.

The Louise Balkwill Trio

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It was  a real pleasure to welcome to Moray Jazz Club on Thursday 20th February The Louise Balkwill Trio. Louise’s  original line up including Tim Quicke had to be changed at the last minute as Tim unfortunately had a cycling accident in London [Best wishes for a rapid recovery Tim].  Stepping in as replacements were the wonderful Aberdonians  Pete Lowit [Double Bass and Neil Birse [Keyboard].

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Louise took us on a fabulous musical journey with her rhythmic easy going jazz style that had the DNA of  Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday coursing through the songs including some great jazz standards:

‘Pennies from heaven’ [Arthur Johnson]; ‘Can’t we be friends?’[Kay Swift]; ‘Embraceable you’[George Gershwin]; ‘Exactly like you’[Jimmy McHugh]; ‘You’d be so nice’[Cole Porter]; ‘I’ll be seeing you’[Sammy Fain]; ‘Long John blues’[Terra Hazelton]; ‘Shake it but don’t break it’[Scott Hamilton]; ‘Tea for two’ [Vincent Youmans]; ‘Two sleepy people’[Hoagy Carmichael]; ‘ A foggy day’[George Gershwin]; ‘Shiny stockings’[Frank Foster]; ‘Moody’s mood’[Eddie Jefferson]; ‘Love you madly’[Duke Ellington] and  ‘Red top’[Ben D. Kynard].

Thank you Louise,Neil and Pete for a great evening’s entertainment combining wonderful singing, music and amusing anecdotes. We look forward to your return, in Neil and Pete’s case, next week!

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BILL JANNETTA’S JAM

A night of entertainment with Bill Jannetta’s invited musicians – Bill Jannetta [Acoustic guitar], Colin Henderson [ Baritone, Alto Saxaphone and Flute],John Hall [ Keyboard], Pete Lowit[Double bass] and Fraser Peterkin [Drums].

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Bill’s plan was to take us on a medley of tunes interspersed with humour ,wit and sheer fun; it worked wonderfully. The evening’s music began with ‘Foggy day’[‎George Gershwin]; followed by  ‘Beautiful Love (in ‘F’) [Wayne King, Victor Young]; ‘It could happen to you’ [Jimmy Van Heusen]; ‘Bye bye blackbird’[Ray Henderson]; ‘East of the sun’ [Brooks Bowman]; ‘Stella by starlight’ [Victor Young]; ‘My shining hour’ [Harold Arlen];  ‘Georgia on my mind’  [Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell];’Dearly beloved’ [Jerome Kern]; ‘My foolish heart’ [Victor Young].

Thank you gents for a great evening of music and entertainment.  A special thankyou to Pete and Fraser for coming all the way from Aboyne and Aberdeen respectively, we really do appreciate it.

If you are on Instagram, check out recent gigs at Moray Jazz Club.

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RETURN OF THE BLACK ISLE JAZZ BAND

 

We welcomed back the perennial Black Isle Jazz Band to play some  favourite and uplifting jazz standards. Performing on Trombone- Pat Strachan, Tenor Saxaphone and Clarinet- Roy Stephenson, Tenor, Alto and   Saxaphone and Clarinet- Mike McKenzie, Acoustic Guitar- Derek Mathieson, Bass Guitar- Dave Swan and Drums- Finlay Grant.

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The band treated us to the following:’Indiana’ [ Ballard MacDonald and James Hanley]; ‘Memories of you’ [Eubie Blake]; ‘Cute’ [ Neal Hefti]; ‘Bye bye bues’ [Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Bert Lown]; ‘Ain’t misbehavin’ [Fats Waller]; ‘Bad penny blues’ [Humphrey Litteton]; ‘The pink panther’ [Henry Mancini]; ‘All blues'[Miles Davis]; ‘Swing that music’ [Louis Armstrong]; ‘Roses of Picardy’ [Haydn Wood]; ‘A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square’ [Manning Sherwin]; ‘I cant give you anything but love babe’ [Jimmy McHugh]; ‘St James infirmary’ [attrib Cab Calloway]; ‘Whip me with plenty of love’ [Clarence Williams]; ‘Lonesome blues’ [Sidney Bechet].

A great evening of jazz playing, thank you gents. A special mention for Roy Stephenson whose rendition of  ‘A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square’  was sublime.

 

HOUSE BAND MARK II

A warm January welcome to House Band Mk II with Colin Henderson (Baritone and Alto Saxaphone and Flute), Graeme Nairn (Acoustic Guitar x2), Bill Jannetta (Electric Bass), Fabrizio Conti (Drums) and Pamela Nairn (Vocals).
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The band played a medley of jazz standards from the 1930’s through to the 1950’s with Pamela providing a vocal back drop to many including  ‘Thats all’ [Alan Brandt] , ‘My blue heaven'[Walter Donaldson],’A ‘Nightingale sings in Berkeley Square’ [Manning Skerwin] [Guitar solo] , ‘Let this fool rush in’ [Rube Bloom], ‘My heart belongs to daddy'[Cole Porter], ‘Robin’s nest’ [Illinois Jacquet], ‘Give me the simple life’ [Rube Bloom]’Its alright with me'[Cole Porter], ‘Fly me to the moon'[Bart Howard], ‘We’ll be together again'[Carl Fischer].

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The comic and witty interaction of these musicians is something to behold and very much adds to the visual and sound effects of the programme, and of course the musical performance from all five was superb. Thanks for an enjoyable and fun evening .

Come and listen on a Thursday evening to joyous jazz  from January to June and beyond.

 

HOUSE BAND NORTH EAST

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A warm welcome was given to the House Band that consisted of musicians from Aberdeen in the east to Inverness in the west:  Fabrizio Conti [ Drums, Aberdeen], Pete Lowit [ Double Bass, Aboyne], Colin Henderson [ Alto and Baritone Sax, Flute, Elgin], John Hall [Keyboards, Nairn], Brian Keddie [Trombone, Inverness].  They should be called the ‘Hundred and twenty milers’.

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The band took us on a musical medley of great numbers  from Paquito d’Rivera, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie to Miles Davis.  The rhythm section was as reliable as ever with Pete and Fabrizio playing like a well stirred cocktail with a chunk of cool ice thrown in by John Hall’s melodic keyboard. Our two front gentlemen provided some sublime solos interspersed with dry humour that can only be found in these parts of the country.  Thank you for a much appreciated and enjoyable evening.

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 note. 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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