CoartJazz – an exceptional concert to bring the curtain down on a fabulous week

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 29, 2019

You know those times in life when you’ve sat through a really mediocre film without nodding off or persevered to the very last words of a rubbish book and thought “please can I have that time of my life back.”  And we have all been to gigs like that too.  Well, the concert staged by the septet of intervenants, the professionals, to round off the CoartJazz week in August was the absolute polar opposite.


A change is as good as a rest, musically speaking (1)

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 27, 2019

An inspirational week at CoartJazz

The mediaeval village of Coaraze clings to the top of a rocky outcrop a 40 minute drive from Nice on the Cote d’Azur, playground of the rich and famous. But last week it was Coaraze that drew the discerning jazzerati like bees to a honey pot.


The Red Hot Rhythm Makers – percolatin’ brilliant

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 10, 2019

There is a palpable buzz as the “gals” get ready. There’s no luxury of a dressing room, or backstage.  This is the Edinburgh Jazz Bar, the temple of Jazz, and what a place to see Scotland’s six-piece all girl jazz band, the Red Hot Rhythm Makers.  Heads turn as a few bars of Duelling Banjos ring out for the soundcheck, and then, after a brief introduction, it’s straight into Royal Garden Blues.

Led by Ali Affleck (vocal, washboard, cymbal, woodblock), the show is based loosely on the band’s project, Six Gals Named Smith, all of whom were singing or performing songs through the early years of the 20th century, and Bessie Smith, Trixie Smith, Ruby Smith, Clara Smith, Laura Smith and Mamie Smith, are the inspiration and the source of much of the content, along with some Ma Rainey and Memphis Minne.


Blooming marvellous – Anna e rovesciata i fagioli

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 6, 2019

We’ve had an interesting discussion in the office today about entertainment and angst and concluded that, of course, we go out of our way to be entertained by the fortunes of others. But equally by their misfortunes. King Lear, Mimi, Valjean, Baldrick and so on.

Magical jazz singer and actress Anna Vanosi’s Late Bloomers’ Tales falls into a cherry orchard, tragi-comic middle ground. She recounts her life’s journey so far, taking you on it with her (how old is this girl?) and it’s one of disappointment, unfulfillment and ‘late blooming’. And all the while she’s in her pyjamas!  If you get the Facebook clips, it’s a bit of a Daytona Slingshot of a ride.