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Article: Live Review

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Plays Ayler at St. Giles' Cathedral

Read "Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Plays Ayler at St. Giles' Cathedral" reviewed by Martin McFie

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra St. Giles' Cathedral Where Rivers Meet Edinburgh, Scotland May 15, 2021 Albert Ayler was an expressive and accomplished voice in the free jazz movement who was greatly respected by his peers. None other than John Coltrane encouraged the tenor saxophonist to join Impulse! records and even ...


Carl Spencer

Carl Spencer encompasses a wide range of styles both "Hot" and "Sweet", being equally at home with the pretty Bix Beiderbecke-school of phrasing, the angular clipped syncopation of the Original Dixieland Jazzband, the biting attack and bitter blues feelings of Oliver, Keppard and Ladnier. He also portrays the many Dance-Band styles of the '20's and '30's, which allied to his mastery of mutes adds to his reputation as one of Britain's hottest players in the idiom.


The John Irvine Band


The John Irvine Band has released four critically acclaimed CDs of Jazz-Rock music: ‘Wait & See’ (2011), ‘Next Stop’ (2015), ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ (2018) and 'The Machinery Of the Heavens' (2020). All four albums have received plaudits and awards from many magazines and websites, and several tracks have received airplay on internet and terra firma radio stations, such as: The Prog Rock Palace, Xymphonia, El Ritorno Del Gigante, Canvas Prog Hour, Friday Night Progressive and many more.


David Series


David has studied with Mike Outram, Lage Lund and Dave Cliff. He has recorded with his Organ Trio, trio HSK, performed at the Queens Hall with The Paul Simon Project and Lorna Reid, played at China Orange Jazz Festival with Unkle Bob and performed alongside musicians such as Euan Stevenson, Konrad Wisniewski, Richard Kass, James Lindsay, Colin Steele, Ali Affleck, Herb reed and the Platters and Louis Abbott (admiral Fallow). He is always striving to develop the bands and projects he is involved in whilst developing his own playing as well. Most recently he has written, drawn the artwork, and recorded his own quartet project, 'Meerkat Parade'.


Don Kelman

Alto Sax / Flute player and member of Public Information, an Edinburgh-based funky Modern Jazz outfit playing their own compositions with a mix of covers from the likes of Ornette Coleman, Metheny, Scofield, Monk and Miles.


Jamie Alexander Smith


Jamie started playing classical piano at age 6. Such a rigid musical environment quickly frustrated him and he started experimenting with improvising and composing his own music. He played a concert of his own piano compositions in school aged 11, and found that challenging himself not to rely on someone else to write the music for him was exciting and satisfying. Improvising is a key element of Jamie’s 'musical conception'. Knowing exactly what you’re going to play when you go on stage or hit the recording studio is, for him, uninticing. Nothing can compare with the exhilaration of making music up on the spot. Over the years Jamie has played in a variety of ensembles, from rock bands and jazz and funk ensembles to brass bands and an orchestra or two


The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

Active since:

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) is considered by many to be one of the UK’s foremost contemporary big bands. Founder/Director and leading saxophonist Tommy Smith established the SNJO in 1995 with a crystal clear artistic vision and core values of versatility, discipline and expression. Since its inception more than twenty years ago, many of the leading lights in world jazz have enthusiastically shared the stage with the SNJO. People like Gary Burton, Arild Andersen, Branford Marsalis, Joe Locke, Makoto Ozone, Mike Stern and Kurt Elling have all joined the orchestra to explore virtually every room in the house of jazz. The SNJO’s diverse repertoire has included re-imaginings of works by the great, the good and the gigantic, including Basie, Mingus, Monk, Miles and Coltrane



The Music Of NeWt The music of NeWt is truly unique. Each member composes from his own perspective and draws from his own wealth of musical and personal influences. The common languages are those of jazz and improvisation, however, elements of rock, ambient/electronic and folk/world music are also prevalent in the sound. The extraordinary instrumentation of guitar, trombone and drums is one of a kind. Making NeWt sound like no other group in either the jazz or rock field. Graeme Stephen uses ambient guitar effects and loops to create swirling soundscapes and drones while Chris Greive plays the trombone both acoustically and through effects units incuding octave pedals which make the horn sound like an otherwordly electric bass


Gerald Brockie


International guitarist and composer of note, Ged Brockie has built on a rising profile with the Scottish Guitar Quartet with this solo release. A prolific composer, this is a wonderful album which shows of his composing and guitar playing skills to the full. He has worked with Hollywood composer Hummie Mann as well as creating and delivering the Edinburgh International Jazz Course with fellow musician Rob Hall. You can find out more about Ged and his various projects at


Tommy Smith


Tommy Smith (b.1967) is one of the finest musicians of his generation, who has worked in jazz, classical, theatre, folk, and pop circles. Smith’s prolific career began with his first album, Giant Strides, (1983) when he was only sixteen. This recording earned him a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he formed the group Forward Motion and together they recorded two albums. Next, thanks to a recommendation by legendary jazz-fusion pianist Chick Corea, Smith was invited Gary Burton’s band. Smith would tour the world for the first time and play on the album ECM album Whiz Kids, (1987)


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