Glasgow Jazz Festival top picks coming soon! #musicconsumption #festivals

I love it when a festival programme comes out.  I am often found scouring a paper copy with a red marker pen or perusing a website with my diary beside me.  I look for favourites and read about other performers I may not be familiar with. If a band or performer catch my eye/ear in a festival programme or on the radio I am in the habit of instantly looking them up on YouTube then I will make a note in an app (Simplenote) on my phone.   The combination of YouTube and the notes app is useful when helping to decide if I want to see them live, buy their music (I check the list on my phone if I am in a music store) or read further about them.  I took a look at the Glasgow Jazz festival website today and instantly You Tubed Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Bing! Discovered I liked them.

I have always enjoyed other people’s recommendations when it comes to music. As I teenager I swapped vinyl, made mix tapes for friends (yes, still got them!) At high school my experience of how cool you were was often linked to how frequently you were seen carrying a square bag with desirable vinyl in to share with friends.  If it was in a cool indy record store bag all the better and if that bag was black and from an exotic location such as Falkirk or Glasgow you were laughing.  Now I rely on YouTube often for musical exploration although I do still have a some friends that lend me CDs. Interestingly always jazz lovers (or jazz educators?)

One of the things I like about YouTube is that whenever I have a moment that needs to be satisfied with music, it is always there. It provides instant musical gratification (see my favourites list at the end of this article). Not in the same way a live concert can but nearly.  I can get a feel for an artist.  I particularly started doing this when I was stuck in at home with my baby sons and couldn’t get to live gigs (arghhhhh!)  I love filming at concerts so that I can add to the online music community.  I hope that others who are exploring music (or are stuck in the house with other responsibilities) may find a great band or performer through my clips.

The full programme for the Glasgow Jazz Festival will be released in the next couple of weeks and I will have my diary out, I will be You Tubing, Googling, checking social media I will decide on my top picks and if I will review any of the gigs. Happy Days.

Borrowed CDs  from a friend when exploring Sonny Rollins music

Listed below are my top ten You Tube clips from the last few years. The ones I always return to. They keep me going!

Charles Mingus Boogie Stop Shuffle,  Sonny Rollins St Thomas, Charles Mingus Moanin,  Scottish National Jazz Orchestra  play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Stan Getz and Charlie Bird Jazz Samba, Esbjorn Svensson Trio GoldWrap,  Cecil Payne Patterns of Jazz,  Irene Kral This is Always,  George Garzone Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most,  Joe Henderson Black Narcissus,  John Coltrane Naima,  Chet Baker Come Rain or Come Shine and when I need a happy visual I remind myself of this.



The SNJO & Arild Andersen play Mingus

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.

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