Bill Carrothers Trio - gig preview
American pianist Bill Carrothers has never played in Scotland before, but he has earned a reputation not only as an inventive jazz improviser, but also as an ambitious creator of unusual and ambitious large-scale projects linked to historical subjects. The most ambitious of these – thus far, anyway – is Armistice 1918 (2003), composed with funding assistance from France and inspired by the war poems of Wilfrid Owen.
His limited edition solo piano recording Civil War Diaries and Swing Sing Songs, a trio recording that featured songs from the Second World War, provide further evidence of his fascination with a historical perspective, albeit framed in a contemporary musical vocabulary.
His diverse discography also includes recordings in intimate duet settings with vocalist Wendy Lewis, pianist Marc Copland and drummer Bill Stewart, and he turned to a plugged-in setting on Fender Rhodes piano for The Electric Bill.
Much of his live work takes place in Europe, and his Scottish debut will feature him in a trio setting, a context in which he has excelled on record. He grew up in rural Minnesota, near Minneapolis, but like the majority of aspiring young jazz musicians, he moved to New York in 1988. He readily admits he never really settled in the Big Apple, and now lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and occasional collaborator, singer Peg Carrothers, and their young family.
‘I lived in New York for five years. It was a disaster. I was miserable the whole time. I’m just not a big city guy. I had a lot of trouble living in that kind of tension all the time. Where I live now, it’s nothing but trees and snow as far as you can see.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
The Lot, Edinburgh, Thu 8 Nov; Recital Rooms, City Halls, Glasgow, Sat 10 Nov