The Boys from Aboyne [Steve Garrett & Pete Lowit]


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


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).



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.




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.




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


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.
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.

Lewis and Dav


Last night we welcomed to Moray Jazz Club Lewis and Dav for their last night of a months long tour of Scotland. These young and up and coming guitarists who hail from Bristol treated us to a diverse range of musical interpretations of pop, funk and rock with a jazzy twist, many of which were introduced as the best song ever written.


They went straight in to ‘Everybody wants to rule the World’- Tears For Fears followed by  ‘One kiss’ -Calvin Harris; ‘To be with you’ -Mr Big; ‘Daphne’ -Django Reinhardt;  ‘3rd funky’ -Dav Lisbon; ‘Thousand miles’   -Vanessa Carlton; ‘Everywhere’ very funky version -Fleetwood Mac;  ‘It always rains down in..’ – Toto ; ‘Mama Mia’  -ABBA ; ‘Call me maybe’  Carly Rae Jepsen ; ‘California girls’ –  Katie Perry ; ‘Your body is a wonderland’  -John Mayer ;  ‘Folk faster song FFS ‘  -Lewis Dickinson; ‘Freefalling’ Tom Petty  and a jazzy twist to the lady of folk, Joni Mitchell.


A night of entertaining acoustic wizardry with fun and funky takes on a number of well known hits from the eighties,nineties and noughties. Lewis’ fingerwork was mezmorizing and lightening quick, at times it was a challenge to keep up. Dav’s deep tone back up was like vintage port complimenting Lewis’ sparkling champagne. How on earth did Lewis play that guitar behind his head? And the fingerboard exchange on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ was a fun intro to this FM classic and made you realise what real joy that band’s music gave to so many of us back in the ‘70’s.
Lewis apologised for not having a gypsy  jazz guitar. He should not apologise. This was great jazzed up live music, great musicianship and great entertainment. Thank you gentlemen, an evening of  inspiring music, keep it up and please come again.






Moray Jazz welcomed the Colin Black trio with an entertaining evening of guitar based jazz standards. So the line up was Colin Black (guitar), Brian Chalmers (Bass Guitar) and that man Finlay Grant again (Drums).


The trio started with a warm up ‘sound check’ of ‘I’m comin home baby’- Ben Tucker followed by a medley of great tunes including ‘Killer Joe’- Benny Golson; ‘Road Song’- Wes Montgomery;  Have you met Miss Jones ‘-Rogers and Hart; Favela’-Antonio Carlos Joachim; ‘Witchcraft’- Cy Coleman; Kiss me much/ bessamemucho’- Consuelo Velazquez; ‘Blue Monk’-Thelonious Monk; ‘The Birds and the Bees’-Attila Zoller; ‘The Girl from Ipanema’- Antônio Carlos Jobim;’Days of wine and roses’-Henry Mancini; ‘Chitlins con carne’-Kenny Burrell; ‘Gentle rain’-Luis Bonfa; ‘Summertime’ -George Gershwin;  Just friends’- John Klenner; ‘Moonlight in Vermont’ Karl Suessdorf; ‘Sister Sadie’ Horace Silver and to complete the set  Softly as a morning sunrise’-Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein.


Finlay was as expressive as ever, ranging from caresses with his steel brushes on the snare drum to crisp notes on his toms.  Brian Chalmers  with his six string bass was squeezing out some juicy vintage notes throughout the evening, just like a cider press . There is a chill out factor with Colin, definitely some Carlos Santana tones to his guitar. It is as though he was playing in a late sixties early seventies time warp. Thank you Colin for the background and context to each piece of music, much appreciated. Hope to see you three in the  not too distant future.




Great evening with the ‘House Band’ renamed Finlay’s Fivesome in honour of this awesome percussionist.  So, the line up was Colin Henderson [Baritone and Tenor Sax, Flute], Graeme Nairn [Guitar], Mario Jannetta [Keyboard], Bill Jannetta[Electric Bass] and Finlay Grant [Drums/Percussion].


The band went straight  in to a diverse range of jazz standards including  ‘Autumn Leaves’Joseph Kosma; ‘Jersey Bounce’- Benny Goodman; ‘It’s you or no one’- Dexter Gordon; ‘Don’t go to Strangers’- Etta Jones;Like someone in love- Jimmy Van Heusen; ‘Afternoon in Paris’- John Lewis;‘Spring can really,hang you up the most’-Tommy Wolf; ‘Cherokee’– Ray Noble; ‘I should care’– Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston and Sammy Cahn and ‘Hackensa’- Thelonious Monk.

We were treated to Graeme’s deft fingers on the black mamba guitar. Bill on Bass, very droll, witty and sharp and not f sharp. Mario’s fingers like a spider’s legs drunk on jazz. Colin’s crispy alto sax and sonorous notes from that baritone sax, always rich and enjoyable.  Then there is the man who is Finlay Grant. It was as though he was taken back to roots in Africa, deep down those genes and chromosomes cried out ‘Finlay, let them have that beat!’ His face said it all as he caressed the cymbals and enjoyed every note, including Bill’s F sharp. Thank you gentlemen for bringing live jazz to Elgin, a real privilege.





A great evening of vibrant up beat jazz from the Black Isle Jazz Band that is Pat Strachan – [Trombone], Roy Stevenson [Sax and Clarinet],Derek Mathieson –[Guitar and Banjo],Dave Swan Bass Guitar] and Andy Davidson [Drums]

The band played a range of jazz standards with occasional vocal input from the gravelly Pat Strachan. The set kicked off  with ‘Bernie’s tune’ Gerry Mulligan followed by ‘Moon River’- Henry Mancini; ‘Blue monk’ Thelonious Monk; ‘Love for sale’ Cole Porter with a great double act of trombone and sax; Pat’s ‘Own composition’ …’Bflat.. I told you in instructions Dave!’  the classic bossa nova ‘Girl from Ipanema’ Antonio Jobim; Roy sublimely playing another own composition ‘In what Roy’ ! ‘My romance’ Richard Rodgers; ‘s’wonderful’ George  Gershwin ; ‘Angel eyes’ Matt Dennis, Roy’s solo was a superb interpretation; ‘Limehouse Blues’ Benny Goodman; ‘Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans’ Eddie de Lange and  ‘Autumn leaves’ Joseph Kosma.

A memorable evening with great playing by the Band. Roy’s sax and clarinet playing is always a joy to listen to. Many thanks Roy, much appreciated  by MJC. Pat, the stalwart trombonist’s playing is lyrical, as is his admonishing of band players who have a dig at him [not mentioning any names Dave]. Derek’s guitar playing has both precision and spontaneity; great to watch. Dave, humorous, naughty but richly toned bass playing from this ‘man at the back’. Andy, thanks for holding it together in the rhythm section, and for keeping out of trouble when the banter got heated!

Hope to see you soon Gents.




An evening with the humorous, entertaining and talented house band that is Colin Henderson [Baritone and Alto Sax and Flute], Graeme Nairn [ Guitar], Bill Jannetta [Electric Bass], Alistair Stuart  [Drums] and Pamela Nairn [Vocals].


The band took us through a familiar and not so familiar set that included ‘I hear a rhapsody’– George Fragos; ‘Tenderly’- Walter Gross; ‘What more can I say’– Ross Jack; ‘When  you wish upon a star ‘- Leigh Harline‎ &  Ned Washington; ‘What a difference a day makes’– ‎María Grever ‎& ‎Stanley Adams‎; ‘Love me or leave me’Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn; ‘Perhaps’- Victor Davies;’ Holding hands at night beneath the starry sky’ –Gershwin; ‘Cheesecake’- Dexter Gordon; ‘Stardust’- Hoagy Carmichael; ‘ Lullaby Of Birdland’ – George Shearing;’ September in the rain’- Harry Warren; ‘Besame Mucho’-Consuelo Velazquez; ‘You make me feel so young‘- Josef Myrow.

It is always a pleasure to hear Pamela sing and bringing alive some great Jazz songs from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.  Graeme was on form with a bluesy number by Sandy Williams, Bill and Alistair provided a rich tonal backdrop on the rhythm section and Colin as ever showed his virtuosity on saxophones and flute.  Many thanks Pamela and gents.


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