The second weekend of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is soon to be screaming around the corner which means that there is another load of shows that you will all want to go see.
To help make the process of choosing where to spend your time we have taken the liberty of throwing down seven different bands on over the course of the weekend that are sure to be worth your time.
The London jazz scene is going through a great time, with lots of talented young artists taking the genre to interesting places. Moses Boyd definitely places high on that list.
Drummer and composer, Boyd works in lots of electronic sounds with heavy reliance on drums and compliments them with traditional jazz instruments and strings. It creates a sound that can bombard the audience but remains familiarly ‘jazzy’.
Boyd’s work has a lot of energy and a really fresh style for anyone that’s been looking for something new.
More big names are appearing on this one this time from the Scottish jazz scene. Harry Weir, Graham Costello and Liam Shorthall will be familiar to anybody who keeps up with the Glasgow Jazz Scene and this band is something special. With an intense, almost frenetic energy to it, the rhythm of AKU leans heavily on Costello’s drums to create something unique and powerful.
With their own original songs as well as covers on display here, you can count on these three musicians to take anything they play and make it entirely their own.
JACQUI DANKWORTH/ GEORGIA CÉCILE
These extraordinary artists are two of the best jazz singers currently working in the industry today. Jacqui Dankworth has been a figure in the industry for ages and for good reason. She has some brilliant vocal range with a brilliant soulful quality to it.
Gerogia Cécile, in contrast, is an up and coming voice in jazz singing from Scotland. After playing gigs up and down the country she’s back in Edinburgh to open the show with a sharp, fresh voice that really brings something to the classics she sings.
LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE
The London Afrobeat Collective are a nine-piece Afro-Funk band from, funnily enough, London. With an infectious funk vibe that’s just unreservedly joyful. It’s difficult to know what to say about the LAC except that they are undoubtedly some of the freshest, best funk songs currently being made. Certainly, in the UK at least.
More to the point, the energy of their music make them so much more accessible than other more classically ‘jazzy’ bands so if you’ve been thinking of going to the festival but not sure what you’ll enjoy then go see this. You’ll love it!
Graham Costello’s Strata is one of the big names to come out of the Glasgow Jazz scene in recent years. Indeed, it contains many of the other big names in the Glasgow Jazz scene. With a big sound that can at times just feel like a wave of noise coming your way, they’re definitely something to experience live.
With their album Obelisk having been released in 2019, the band will be going through their better-known pieces as well as a few bits of music commissioned just for that night.
This weekend, they will be out in full force with Strata Expanded. Bringing a string section that is often missing from gigs. Being able to see them like this, giving a unique performance just for the festival is not something to miss.
SOWETO KINCH QUARTET
The Soweto Kinch Quartet is a British jazz band headed by Soweto Kinch, an award-winning saxophonist. However, Soweto Kinch as a band is quite challenging. The jazz they play is really experimental and really quite special so for that reason, if none other, you should really check them out.
Ending on an energetic band, Orion All-Stars are a wonderful fusion of Electro-Jazz and Funk that adds up to make something really great. Headed by Harry Weir, their material has a clean, smooth sound to it that is utterly infectious.
Eminently listenable, utterly joyful and a showcase of some truly talented musicians, Orion All-Stars are another group perfect for you if you’re not sure what you’d be into at the festival.
By John Gillespie