Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Wonderful improvisation in an hour of mesmeric music from one of the best known jazz trios on the circuit.
Remember those days when going to a jazz bar meant being greeted by a pall of smoke thicker than a 1950’s London smog? 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 do the other two parts of his trio with bass player Kenny Ellis being joined, as usual, by John Rae on drums. It made for an inspired hour of jazz featuring numbers such as ‘Gone With The Wind, ‘High Fly’, ‘Talk Of The Town’, ‘Single Petal Of A Rose’ and a rousing ‘Anything Goes’ in which almost anything went 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 Rae’s drumming is supportive when it needs to be, but more than capable of rising to any jamming opportunity.
We had slow, fast and just about every tempo in between and plenty of foot-tapping, stool drumming and hand clapping from the audience. And you know you’re listening to a good gig when the bar-tender is standing there, idly juggling his cocktail shaker in ever more complex throws that are all perfectly in time with the beat. It was all over far too quickly but Kellock is making frequent appearances with various musicians this Fringe, so check your programme and try and catch him on various dates up to 30 August.