JazzMain break the rules

Posted by Dick Playfair on Jul 21, 2019

I really enjoyed The Silver Project a few years back when JazzMain put a celebration of Horace Silver numbers together.

I haven’t seen JazzMain since although this must be one of the hardest working quartets on the circuit, popping up at this and that in Scotland (and Ireland), and leader, my jazzy chum Nick Gould, finding every available opportunity to deliver some tenor madness – at home, in France and beyond.


Stomps, rags, struts and blues – The Tenement Jazz Band storm it with Brian Kellock

Posted by Dick Playfair on Jul 20, 2019

I was brought up on a diet of early jazz – Jelly Roll Morton, Freddie Keppard, King Oliver, Johnny Dodds, Kid Ory. It was all my dad played if he got near the Bush Gramophone, apart from opera. So, a lunchtime with Brian Kellock, the unquestioned current supremo of Scottish jazz piano and the Tenement Jazz Band was going to unlock a box of nostalgia for me.  It did.

Brian opened proceedings at this one-off gig at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2019 in inimitable style with Put A Shine On Your Shoes, the ballad I’ll Never Be The Same melting into Slow Boat To China, and then a little entertaining chat for those of us old enough to remember Kia Ora and Woodbines. Then he left the stage.


Five go to The Stranglers

Posted by Dick Playfair on Mar 24, 2019

I saw The Stranglers for the first time in June 1977 at Cambridge Corn Exchange, just after the release of Rattus Norvegicus. I saw them again this week at the same venue in the company of four good friends, the ‘oldest mates’, all contemporaries at Magdalene. A bonus was that Dr Feelgood reincarnate, originally that anarchic pub-rock quartet from Canvey Island, but sadly now with no remaining founder members, were the opening act.


Django unplugged – well almost

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 16, 2018

When I was young, jazz was played a lot in our house – and then there was the Hot Club of France. Where jazz of the New Orleans or Chicago varieties was considered a bit edgy, raucous and a little naughty, the swing of Reinhardt and Grappelly (or is it Grappelli?) was more refined, polite, European.

And that is where Viper Swing take us with their hugely entertaining bio-oeuvre ‘Playing Django’ down in le caveau de jazz that is the basement of the Argyle for tonight, as well as locations from Claridges to Paris under the Nazi jackboot.


Get yer ya-ya’s oot! The Rolling Stones live at Murrayfield, June 2018

Posted by Dick Playfair on Jun 10, 2018

This was a great night, and a great gig. I’d always wanted to see the Rolling Stones. I had seen a Stone once, Charlie Watts with his band Rocket 88 in Islington in 1977, but never the Stones collectively.

Time was running out, if I didn’t see them now would I get another chance? Or possibly more to the point, would they? But on the evidence of last night there is still a lot of life in the old dogs – and a very high percentage of their audience – yet. And energy.


Nice N’ Easy Does It

Posted by Dick Playfair on Jul 20, 2017

Iain Hunter and the Eliot Murray Big Band at the Speigeltent, George Square for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2017

I’ve seen Iain Hunter sing before, and I’m sure I will see him sing again. I’ve seen and heard him at the Tron Kirk, at the Queen’s Hall, and at the Perth Meat Trades Fair a few years ago! But I have to say that last night’s performance with the Eliot Murray Big Band for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival was genuinely Iain at his best – his very best.

His charm lies in his modesty. His skill lies in his presentation. His mastery lies in his phrasing, like Sinatra and the other greats. How do you learn to sing, and swing, like that?


It’s Alright With Me – Miles Lyons with the David L Harris Quartet

Posted by Dick Playfair on Jul 18, 2017

It’s a long time since I’ve reviewed anything here. That’s about to change since my outing to 2 Bones, my first of several forays into the Edinburgh Blues and Jazz Festival 2017.

2 Bones celebrates the work of JJ Johnson and Kai Winding, who joined forces in the mid 50’s to play the Blue Note, Philadelphia, and then hung out for a few more years, with a final reunion in the 60’s.

This time it was David L Harris (David L Harris Quartet) and Miles Lyons (New Orleans Swamp Donkeys) who took on frontline duty – and in that respect did not disappoint.


Bonsoir Monsieur Nightfall

Posted by Dick Playfair on May 24, 2015

Helene is bringing a new production to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival from 5 to 30 August 2015 – poignant and funny, her show and her songs draw on her experiences, and the ups and the downs in a truly extraordinary career so far…


Tom Davis – flying without a parachute

Posted by Dick Playfair on Aug 6, 2014

Tom Davis is the consummate musician, a musician’s musician. A risk taker, Tom bares his soul for his art, and this first of two performances at The Jazz Bar as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, was such proof of that.