Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Great hour of cool bossa novas and high octane sambas.
Down to the Jazz Bar late on a Sunday evening to listen to Brian Molley’s Quintet stamp their own very enjoyable interpretation of one of the bestselling jazz albums of all time, Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd’s Jazz Samba.
So we get an hour of silky smooth jazz with a quintet featuring the eponymous Molley (tenor sax), Mario Caribe (guitar/percussion), the urbane Ross Milligan (guitar), the sultry Brodie Jarvie (bass) and the driving rhythms of Stuart Brown (drums) which remains true to the original, seminal album of this genre defining music.
Jazz aficionados will know that Byrd and Getz’s masterpiece is a wonderful mix of cool bossa novas and vibrant, high octane sambas and that’s very much the style that was presented here. Starting off with a full length Desafinado, we moved on to the lovely Baia before alighting nicely on Samba Triste. O Pato was originally a song but here was played as an instrumental. Apparently, the lyrics are about two ducks who get together and want to dance the samba, which in turn attracts a nearby goose who, short of a partner and not wanting to dance with a duck, pairs up with a passing swan. My mind was dancing around at this point with images of my neighbour’s geese swinging around in the shrubbery to the sound of music – sometimes the meaning of lyrics does get a little lost in the translation.
Whipping through the rest of the programme with a rocking Samba Dees Days, E Luxo So and Samba de uma nota, we were tipped out into the chilly evening all too quickly – most of the audience would have stuck around for more of this quite delightful and uplifting music played by a group of consummate musicians who never miss a beat or waste a note.
They just let their music do the talking, aided and abetted with simple, short segues to link one number to the next. The ensemble of percussion, bass, guitars and sax produce a symphony of sounds with the jamming in each of the numbers effortlessly passed around them with the merest twitch of an eyebrow or flick of a finger. It really is foot-tapping music in a show that never really stops to draw breath – and is all the better for it. Thoroughly recommended.