Bill Wells' National Jazz Trio of Scotland to appear at Tracer Trails' Christmas Party
Another engagement for the ubiquitous collaborator and jazzman
The National Jazz Trio of Scotland has never really been a trio. Nor has Bill Wells’ cheekily-monickered combo ever played jazz in the conventional sense. With a first album of original material – the waggishly christened Standards Volume Two – imminent, Wells and his reconvened NJT play DIY promoters Tracer Trails' Christmas shindig to showcase a more vocal-based direction, courtesy of Golden Grrrls singer Lorna Gilfeather and Findo Gask/François and the Atlas Mountains vocalist Gerard Black.
‘It started off as one thing and became something else,’ Wells says of the NJT’s metamorphosis. ‘There’s never any definite idea of what we’re doing, and it becomes what it becomes.’
With his high-profile collaboration with Aidan Moffat ongoing, the Tracer Trails bill will also feature Pianotapes, Wells’ collaboration with Stefan Schneider of German electronicists To Rococo Rot, and Belle & Sebastian guitarist Stevie Jackson, who Wells may also end up playing with.
Wells’ prolific back-catalogue has long straddled indie and jazz worlds to form a deliciously unclassifiable body of work. A new album, Lemondale, was recorded in Japan with the cream of the country’s underground alongside similarly versatile American émigré Jim O’Rourke. Live, a Celtic Connections show with Bridget St John and Lol Coxhill is pending.
‘I always wish I’d done more,’ says Wells, ‘mainly because I started late, but for me it feels like I’m still catching up. But if you’ve got all these ideas, then you’re going to be releasing more records than most people.’
Wells & Moffat, The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 20 Dec; National Jazz Trio of Scotland/Pianotapes/Stevie Jackson, Old St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh, Wed 21 Dec.