For this date we had something very exciting lined up.
Superstars of the contemporary jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, drummer Eric Harland, and bassist Michael Janisch were set to perform today as part of a one-week-only European tour, celebrating their latest album, ‘TWIO’. The highly acclaimed album is a back-to-the-roots collection of 8 standards in a stripped back, straight ahead, air tight trio setting. The light instrumentation and unplugged sound, allows for open and intelligent new arrangements and interplay, cutting out unnecessary fluff and fuss to get back to the essence of jazz.
TWIO was recorded with Harish Raghavan on bass, and special guest stars Joshua Redman (tenor sax) and Christian McBride (bass).
Recognized as one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation, Smith has played with the likes of Mulgrew Miller, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and has been a member of several legendary American contemporary jazz groups, including Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland’s “Voyager”, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet and the Christian McBride “Situation” to name just a few.
Smith is placed at the forefront of a forward-focused new wave of jazz musicians in the US. Known for his vast range and an adventurous avant-garde composition style, this album marks a return to the roots of jazz tradition for Smith and a new contemplative look at the act of standard arrangement.“I would try and alter the tunes quite radically, by rearranging, reharmonizing and altering meters to a point where I was barely playing the original song; but realized I was confusing the point of playing the songs, so I began to interpret them more directly, as they were meant to be played” – Walter Smith III
With such impeccable musicianship from players at the top of their game, it’s a truly exciting album with a solidly confident feeling. With the familiar territory of the standard tunes, these masters are granted license to revel in the music itself, with the focus placed squarely on interplay and plenty of space for dynamic, imaginative improvisation.
Smith has said “The plan is that when we tour, I’ll use that opportunity to invite the community to come and sit in, have fun and share ideas, which I imagined this music was all about in the first place”.
TO THE JAZZ BAR WITH LOVE
‘To The Jazz Bar With Love’ is a brand new musical care-package stuffed with 23 stunning tracks donated by some of Scotland’s finest jazz musicians.
We celebrate the anniversary of our opening with closed doors in 2020, but we are truly honoured and humbled by the love and support that has been shown to us in these tough times. This album marks 15 years of The Jazz Bar and stands as a reflection of the impeccable, vibrant local jazz scene that has developed in that time.
You can continue to support us and the professional musicians who are struggling right now, by donating what you might usually spend on an entry fee or a drink, or any other amount that you wish. Professional musicians and all hospitality/event staff are facing an incredibly difficult time, having seen months of steady work disappear over-night. Any donations would be extremely appreciated to help us to continue to pay our staff through our closure and support our local event staff community in any way that we can.
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