Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Wonderful improvisation in an hour of mesmeric music from one of the best known jazz trios on the circuit.
My distant memory of jazz bars dates back to when you’d be greeted by a pall of smoke thicker than a 1950’s London smog through which you would occasionally glimpse a small group of musicians strutting their stuff. Air quality has come a long way since the smoking ban and the crystal clear, air-conditioned comfort of The Jazz Bar on Chambers Street is just one of a number of Edinburgh venues hosting a range of great music at this year’s Fringe.
Brian Kellock needs no introduction, and neither does his trio although on this occasion bass player Kenny Ellis was joined by Tom Davies on electric guitar rather than the usual John Rae on drums. But this made for an inspired hour of jazz featuring numbers such as ‘Easy Does It’, ‘Night and Day’ and a rousing ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’ to finish off the set.
In between we were treated to a variety of numbers by Kellock and his accomplices picked seemingly at random from what must be his infinite play list. You couldn’t help but marvel at the ability of the three guys to just pick up a tune and run with it, each given their moment in the sun with a solo that they simply jammed, weaving the music seamlessly with each other as each piece built to its finale.
Kellock is a sublime pianist, as at home with the gentle and reflective as he is with the upbeat. And you get all things in between for your money including what might sound to the untrained ear as anarchic digressions but to the jazz aficionado are examples of the apparent telepathic talents of this top class trio. Ellis knows how to get the most out of a double bass and the inclusion of Tom Davies on guitar brought a quite different mix to the trio and allowed him to display his virtuoso skills on a number of occasions.
It was all over far too quickly which was a pity as this was the last appearance of this particular combination at the Fringe. But Brian Kellock is appearing with other bands over the next couple of weeks and it would be well worth the effort to seek him out. Quite exquisite piano playing from this living legend of a jazz musician.