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.

The Boys from Aboyne [Steve Garrett & Pete Lowit]

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We welcomed back a superb double act that is Steve Garrett [ Acoustic guitar] and Pete Lowit [Double bass]. The boys from Aboyne treated us to a medley of jazz standards, reinterpretations of classical numbers and original composimtions that included:

‘For Django’ [Joe Pass]; ‘Our Spanish Love Song‘ [Charlie Haden];  ‘Jade Visions‘ [Scott LaFaro]; ‘Follow Your Heart’ [John McLaughlin]; ‘Heck of a Job’ [John Scofield]; ‘Goodbye Porkpie Hat’ [Charlie Mingus]; ‘Greensleeves’ [someone from the 16th C]; ‘Now Please Don’t You Cry Beautiful Edith’ [Roland Kirk]; ‘It’s Not What It Is’ [Steve Garrett]; ‘Spartacus’ [Alex North arr Bill Evans]; ‘ Dido’s Lament’ [Henry Purcell arr Steve Garrett]; ‘Maggie West’s’ [Mairearad Green]; ‘Mr CC’ [Steve Garrett ref Clive Carroll]; ‘Braw Day’ [Steve Garrett]; ‘In Arden’ [Steve Garrett].

Steve and Pete played with us several months ago and it seems that in that short time there has been a maturing if not mellowing intimacy in their music. The acoustic guitar/double bass combo worked well in our music space creating a real connection with the audience. What is special about these two musicians  is the lyricism of  their playing, Pete’s bass has a vocal quality to it, almost like Paul Robeson and the tonal quaity of Steve’s acoustic seems just right for these compositions. It’s reminicent of that legendary celtic guitarist  Tony McManus. What also adds to their performance is a great narrative spun around much of the music they played; explaining John Schofield’s ‘Heck of Job’ named after the unforgettable visit of President Bush  to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and praising Michael Brown [ head of the Federal Emergency organisation]. Brown promptly retired afterwards. Wonderful stuff gentlemen, look forward to your return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Isle Jazz

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Black Isle Jazz were at their best on Thursday night with superb musicianship combined with highland humour courtesy of banter between Dave Swan(bass guitar/‘amplified cricket bat’) and Pat Strachan (trombone). Classy sax playing by the wonderful Roy Stevenson and Mike Mackenzie. Mike’s clarinet playing made Acker Bilk look whimpish. In support were Derek Mathieson’s reassuring guitar and banjo playing and the ubiquitous, expressive  Finlay Grant on drums.
Thanks for a pleasurable  evening’s entertainment gentlemen with a medley of  some great jazz standards including ‘Jadda’ (Bob Carlton); ‘Blueberry Hill’ (Vincent Rose); ‘Red Coulin’ (Pat Strachan); ‘Angel Eyes’ (Matt Dennis); ‘The Five Spot after Dark’ (Benny Goldson); ‘How deep is the ocean’ (Irvine Berlin); ‘Whip me with plenty of love’(Clarence Williams); ‘Cute’(Neal Hefti); ‘Pee wee’s Blues’ (Peewee Russell); ‘I’ve found my new babe’ (Benny Goodman); ‘End of a beautiful friendship (Stanley Stone and Donald Kahn).

COLIN’S QUARTET[HOUSE BAND]

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We welcomed back our own MJC House Band for last Thursday’s much needed transfusion of jazz.  Joining the stalwarts that  are Colin Henderson(baritone and alto sax & flute),Graeme Nairn (guitar) and Pamela Nairn(vocals) were Pete Lowit (double bass) and Fabrizio Conti (drums).

The band took us through two and a half hours of jazz tapestry that included:

 ‘I should care’ [Stordahl, Western, Cahn]; ‘Days of wine and roses’ [Mancini]; ‘Old devil moon’ [Burton Lane]; ‘Blue and sentimental’ [ Count Basie]; ‘You turn the tables on me’  [Count Basie]; ‘Autumn leaves’ [Joseph Kosma]; ‘I remember April’ [ Gene de Paul]; ‘Jive at five’ [Count Basie]; ‘But not for me’ [Chet Baker]; ‘Ain’t misbehavin’ [Fats Waller]; ‘Each Day is Valentine’s Day’ [Chet Baker];

Colin and Graeme on form as ever, blowing and plucking  familiar notes; Pamela’s reassuring and lyrical voice did justice to some great jazz standards. A really big thank you to Pete and Fabrizio for trekking up the A96 from Aberdeen to add brilliant tone to the rhythm section. These two gentlemen are such regular visitors they should be made honourable members of the  MJC.

 

MORAG McCALL’S QUARTET

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We welcomed a super Aberdonian lineup this week with some familiar and well respected musicians. They were  Reiner Goldberg (Guitar), Neil Birse (Keyboard), Lewis Benzies (Bass), Fabrizio Conti (Drums) and Morag McCall (Vocals).
Morag took us on a vocal journey  from the 1930’s through to some sixties favourites:
‘Hallelujah, I love him so’ (Ray Charles); ‘Call me’ (Tony Hatch); ‘Spooky’(circa 1947); ‘Old devil moon’ (Burton Lane); ‘Birks works’ (Dizzy Gillespie); ‘Frim fram sauce’ (Red Evans); ‘Baubles,bangles &beads’ (George Forrest); The look of love’(Burt Bacharach); ‘Agua de Beber’(Antônio Carlos Jobim); ‘Save your love for me’( Alderney & Wilson); ‘New shores’(Reiner Goldberg); ‘I’ve got the world on a string’(Harold Arlen); ‘A time for love’(Paul Francis Webster); ‘Watch what happens’ (Mandel &Webster); ‘I will wait for you’ (Legrand &Demy); ‘One note samba’(Antônio Carlos Jobim); ‘Got to get you in to my life’(Lennon-McCartney); ‘Close your eyes’(Bernice Petkere); ‘New York state of mind’ (Billy Joel); ‘Getting the swing’ (Reiner Goldberg); ‘You and the night and music’(Arthur Schwartz); ‘Stormy Monday’(Earl Hines); ‘This masquerade’ (Leon Russell).

 

Morag’s lyrical voice did justice to the familiar jazz standards as well as those championed by sixties divas Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield. The tonal quality of her voice was most certainly enhanced by the expressive guitar playing of Reiner Goldberg, Neil Birse’s fluid fingers on keyboards, Lewis Benzies’ cool notes squeezed out from his bass guitar and last but by no means least, Fabrizio Conti’s wood on hide; he seemed to be playing from head to foot.
Morag and gentlemen, thank you for an evening of great music, a wonderful antitdote to Brexit.

 

PETE LOWIT TRIO

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What an entertaining evening last night with the Pete Lowit Trio with Neil Birse (keyboards), Pete Lowit (double bass) and Fraser Peterkin (Drums).

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They took us through a kaleidoscope of jazz numbers, many familiar and others less so but all the better for it. Some highlights were:
‘Recorder me’-[Joe Henderson]; ‘Sentimental mood’- [Ellington Coltrane]; 
‘Everbodies song but not my own’- [John Taylor];‘Dolphin dance’- [Herbie Handcock]; ‘Celeste’- [Ralph Towner]; ‘Midnight voyage’-  [Joey Calderazzo]; ‘Blue peril’- [Bud Pole];  Broken wing for Chet Baker;  ‘Voyage’- [Kenny Barron] and ‘Sunshower’ also Kenny Barron.
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This was a tight knit trio that displayed tonal virtuosity but individually showed just why they are at the top of their game. Neil Birse, not long out of The Guildhall School of Music showed a maturity, fluidity  and sensitivity beyond his years. Pete Lowit’s bass playing is always a joy to listen to; it is often said the cello is the instrument closest to the human voice, Pete’s double bass is a close second. Fraser Peterkin’s relationship with his drum kit is extraordinary.Throughout the evening Fraser provided a reassuring backdrop that ranged from caressing his snare drum with the lightest of touches with his  brushes to an almost catastrophic smashing of his Tom drum, reminiscent of Ginger Baker at his best. Fraser’s finale was really something to behold; there are definitely West African genes coursing through his veins. Thank you gentlemen for a fine evening of jazz, we look forward to your return.