Fettes Jazz Festival
Swingin’ in the Marquee
This article is from 2008.
The fourth Fettes Jazz Festival offers another attractive weekend festival housed in a marquee in the grounds of Fettes College, with a programme that combines top local talent with some exciting guests. The familiar format features an opening session with a party feel on Friday night, followed by separate afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday and Sunday, all with separate admission (and an age restriction of 18+ for the evening shows).
The main focus of attention is likely to fall on two of the hottest acts on the current UK jazz scene, and you get them both for the price of a Saturday night ticket. The Neil Cowley Trio (7.30pm) have successfully bridged the gap between jazz and the rock/club audience, while Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has carved out a distinctive niche for his high octane, politically-charged contemporary jazz.
Atzmon leads his excellent Orient House Ensemble (9.30pm) for this gig, featuring pianist Frank Harrison, Yaron Stavi on bass and drummer Asaf Sirkis. It should add up to a memorable double bill, but the attractions don’t end there.
Friday’s opening session features another leading UK saxman, Dave O’Higgins, leading his soul-jazz inspired Organic Grooves quartet (9.45pm), with Phil Robson on guitar, Pete Whittaker on that quintessential groove machine, the Hammond organ, and drummer Simon Lea. Edinburgh-based American drummer Adam Sorenson’s Quartet opens proceedings (8pm).
Sunday evening is a bit of a family affair, with singer Niki King and her band (8.30pm) following on from an opening set by her dad, singer Freddie King and his quartet (6.30pm).
The Saturday afternoon focus is also on home-based talent, with a line up of Edinburgh-based pianist Paul Kirby (1pm), the superb Colin Steele Quintet (3pm) and classic jazz in imaginative arrangements from drummer Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra (5pm). Youth has its fling on Sunday afternoon, with saxophonist Leah Gough-Cooper’s Human Equivalent (1.30pm) opening for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.
Fettes College Marquee, 332 5777, 22 Aug, 8pm, £16; 23 Aug, 1pm, £15; 23 Aug, 7.30pm, £20; 24 Aug, 1.30pm, £9; 24 Aug, 6.30pm, £13.