One, Two uh uh uh…No one starts a tune like Mingus. His music is often meaty, frenetic and occasionally oddly named. The tunes contain humour, nods to classical music and they have a bluesy swing. It only took about 3 seconds for my head to start bobbing to the beat at the SNJO concert on Friday night. It was great to see Allon Beauvoisin join the orchestra on baritone sax alongside special guest Arild Andersen from Norway on the acoustic double bass. As a lover of the lower notes and deeper toned instruments Mingus is a favourite of mine as he seems to explore these sounds a bit more than some other jazz composers.
Notable tunes of the night were Song with Orange, All the Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother, Moanin’ and an encore rendition of Ecclesiastes. The orchestra vocalised and wooped (as they had promised they would), they clapped and laughed. The talent of the orchestra shone through the various and numerous solos played. It was a particular treat to hear and feel Beauvoisin on the baritone in Moanin’ (short clip here) and Smith and Wiszniewski play their tenor saxes on Ecclesiastes. Arild has played with the SNJO before and there seems to be a very good vibe when they play together. His melodic bass lines fit well with the band’s style and he really looks like a musician who enjoys playing with the SNJO. I love hearing him play.
The Queens Hall was well attended with an enthusiastic audience who cheered and gave a round of applause when we were informed, by Tommy Smith, that he had taken a call that day from Lothian Council who explained they would not be cutting the music funding for music tuition in their schools. I love a bit of chat at live gigs and there was a lot of positive, good humoured chat at this one. Great tunes, great vibes, great audience. The night was a success.