Lee Konitz, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat among highlights Glasgow Jazz Festival
- Stewart Smith
- 29 June 2011
Michel Legrand, Zu and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra also set for festival
A veteran of Miles Davis’ Birth of Cool sessions, Lee Konitz is one of the Festival’s most prestigious bookings. A key player in the development of cool jazz, the alto saxophonist has become more experimental with age. His playing partner, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, has mellowed since his days with Krzysztof Komeda and Cecil Taylor, but his graceful lyricism should be a fine complement to Konitz’s elegant style.
The composer of ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ and the man behind countless film soundtracks, not least Jacques Demy’s unforgettable Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, Michel Legrand is also a virtuoso jazz pianist. This rare live peformance with a swinging trio should be a treat.
Scottish jazz festivals can be criticised for their conservatism, but Glasgow is taking some steps in the right direction with their booking of Italian doom-jazzers Zu. Bassist Massimo Pupillo and saxophonist Luca Mai have serious improv credentials, having worked with Swedish free-jazzer Mats Gustafsson and caught the ear of avant-garde composer John Zorn. Like the Melvins fronted by a woolly mammoth, Zu put the skronk into the sludge.
Always one of the Festival’s more intriguing regulars, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra will be performing throughout the entire Trongate 103 complex, adapting their sound and approach to each space.
Falkirk’s finest, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, will be performing songs from their long-anticipated album, Everything’s Getting Older at Platform. Wells provides a range of settings for former Arab Strap bard’s darkly humorous ruminations on life, death and sex, from sombre piano jazz to sparkling electronic pop.