(‘Where Rivers Meet’, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, September 29 – October 1) – London Jazz News

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The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra has announced a new concert season which will see the internationally acclaimed ensemble cover 100 years of jazz history. Featuring music from their “In the Spirit of Duke” tribute to Duke Ellington’s orchestral output from the 1920s through the 1950s to current rising star singer Georgia Cecile and pianist Gwilym Simcock, the SNJO will perform concerts across Scotland between September 29 and International Jazz Day on April 30. Rob Adams writes about the season opening events of the SNJO.

Konrad Wiszniewski performing at the May 2021 premiere of Where the rivers meet.
Photo credit: Derek Clark

To open the 2022-3 season, the SNJO takes the vital and moving music from her enthusiastically acclaimed latest album, Where Rivers Meet, to the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on September 29, Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen on Friday September 30 and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Saturday, October 1.

Recorded in a single session at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Where the rivers meet celebrates the music of four saxophonists whose work reflected America’s turbulent times of the 1960s, including the civil rights struggle, and whose legacies continue to grow seven decades later.

“Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton and Dewey Redman were considered mavericks when they first appeared on the scene, but many of their own compositions and pieces with which they were associated were inspired by blues and gospel and are passed into the standard jazz repertoire,” says SNJO saxophonist and artistic director Tommy Smith. “Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman, for example, is played by jazz students and jazz musicians around the world.”

Where the rivers meet consists of four specially appointed suites, each dedicated to one of the four saxophone heroes, and has won praise from across Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. Looking at the original streaming version of where the rivers To encounterMark McKergow of London Jazz News described it as “breathtaking music” (link to full review below).

Upcoming concerts will feature Tom Smith himself a soloist in the suite of Albert Ayler. saxophonist friends Konrad Wiszniewski and Martin Kershaw pay tribute to Dewey Redman and Anthony Braxton and viola adam jacksongraduate of Tommy Smith’s Youth Jazz Orchestra, becomes soloist in the Ornette Coleman suite.

“These powerful new orchestrations were written by long-time orchestra associates Geoffrey Keezer, Paul Harrison and Paul Towndrow, and myself,” says Smith. “There are complex elements as we negotiate orchestrations of what were essentially smaller band compositions, but it’s not a step into the unknown. Familiar themes such as the ballad ‘The Very Thought of You’, the witty ‘Goin’ Home’, which inspired Dvorak’s New World Symphony, and even ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ are all present. We have fun playing “the Saints” and hope that the public will enjoy it as much as we do. »

CONNECTIONS: album review by Where the rivers meet by Mark McKergow

Review of the Premiere in two parts: PART ONE / SECOND PART

SNJO Where Rivers Meeyou page with BOOKING LINKS for Edinburgh / Aberdeen / Glasgow

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Henry R. Wright