National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, publicity photo

If you came expecting ‘The Chicken’ etc, then you were at the wrong gig.

This was a night for original music, superbly played by this lively and talented outfit under the leadership of Andrew Bain and Malcolm Edmonstone.

The first half was a tribute to two much-loved Scottish musicians who died recently — the great tenor player Duncan Lamont and trombonist Rick Taylor (Isle of Skye by way of Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Both made a significant contribution to the orchestra’s work over the years and the set included several of their compositions, including parts of Lamont’s ‘Carnival of the Animals’ which featured some fine reed section work.

There are some excellent soloists in this band — in fact everybody gets a turn. No names were given but when next you see them look out for an impressive soprano saxophone player.

Yazz Ahmed, press shot

After the jazz came the Yazz — namely Yazz Ahmed. The British-Bahraini trumpet and flugelhorn player is also recognised for her original compositions. With a superb tone which she supplements by heavy echo and reverb effects, her whole sound has been described as a kind of psychedelic Arabic jazz. The orchestra shone once more, handling some tricky arrangements and driven by a powerful rhythm section.

After Belfast, it’s Sligo’s turn. The whole outfit have now headed west where they’ll be an exciting addition to this year’s Sligo Jazz Project.

Keith Baker

‘And She Was’ by pianist-composer Carlos Cipa from the upcoming Retronyms. Now playing. Thoughts? Well. “Acoustic piano,” to use a retronym (well for the large part, there are some interesting washy overdubs snuck in). Style, well there is some jazz in terms of any hybrid style or band, and there are many on the contemporary European piano trio scene, that have drawn on minimalism only because it is there in tiny amounts + other music. But, a big caveat if it is an issue for you dear reader, this is not improvisation at all. Nor is it electronica. Impact? Well, yes it has a bleak, rather than harrowing, beauty and avoids the twee. Introverted, in a good way. Also the track is pretty accessible and is beautifully played. Carlos Cipa is playing St Pancras old church, London on 3 October. Tickets. SG

Official audio now available. Attractive, head bobbing, laidback groove to it. Ledisi was on Robert Glasper’s Black Radio radar. 

See 13 June post for the Miles story:

A mouthwatering limited edition 2LP set featuring a bonus 7-inch single of the track ‘Paradise’ is being put out by Rhino. Rubberband dates back over 30 years but was never released. The entire 11-song Rubberband album will make its debut finished off by the original producers and Davis’ nephew, Vince Wilburn, Jr., who played drums on the original sessions for the album in 1985-86. Vocals from Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi have been layered over Davis' trumpet and keyboard sessions. Look for the release in September.

Track listing: 
1. Rubberband Of Life – featuring Ledisi
2. This Is It
3. Paradise
4. So Emotional – featuring Lalah Hathaway
5. Give It Up
6. Maze
7. Carnival Time
8. I Love What We Make Together – featuring Randy Hall
9. See I See
10. Echoes In Time/The Wrinkle
11. Rubberband

RIP. See

So fine. Now playing: the profoundly soulful, meaningfully conveyed, sound of Leon Bridges. Has “hit” written all over it. More Otis than before (when Bridges for instance made an impact four years ago with the Sam Cooke-ian title track of ‘Coming Home’), I love the line “I take it day by day by day” that could be extended live adding “day” several more times in the sort of spontaneous manner that is loose and musically interesting to come up with variety. Also, the guitar accompaniment is quite superb and strings so unobtrusive in the mix that you hardly notice them, which is good, but they do add something to the song: A nice arrangement, in other words. The lyrics are thought-provoking and send an unpreachy message about humility and not knowing all the answers. The almost hidden away “today is going to be different” line is practically spoken or intimates this possibility while still sung, and makes the song ultimately direct and positive. SG