SNJO plays Coltrane
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Tue 26 Jun
John Coltrane is the most iconic of modern jazz giants, and it was inevitable that the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra would get round to honouring the master. Tommy Smith chose the 40th anniversary of his death, and celebrated Trane’s own creative spirit by commissioning ten new arrangements of his music, with varied and impressive results.
Much-played tunes like ‘Giant Steps’ (Florian Ross) and ‘Moment’s Notice’ (Christian Jacob) emerged in fresh guise. Two of his great ballads, ‘Naima’ (Joe Locke) and ‘Dear Lord’ (Geoffrey Keezer), brought calm to the middle of each set amid the high-energy workouts.
Pino Iodice arranged Coltrane’s solo from ‘Satellite’ for the whole band, Rick Taylor found fresh dimensions in ‘Afro Blue’, and Paul Towndrow made an impressive arranging debut with ‘Resolution’ from A Love Supreme, complementing Manu Pekar’s ‘Acknowledgment’.
Late-period Coltrane received its due in Ryan Quigley’s ‘Impressions’ and Smith’s own enthralling take on ‘The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’. And, of course, loads of great soloing along the way.