Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Yes, I know; a not-too-subtle Messiaen allusion. But the Phil Bancroft Quartet, a newish international jazz outfit who began to make an impression on the Scottish scene last year, do indeed conjour up the past and presage the future. Featuring Bancroft on sax, Mike Walker on guitar, Thomas Stronen on drums and Steve Watts (who has replaced American bass player Reid Anderson), they play Henry's Cellar Bar on Morrison Street, Edinburgh, tonight (29 October 2003) and tomorrow, starting at 8.30pm. Tickets are £8, and you can book on 0131 467 5200.

The Quartet's new album is due out on the fine Scottish label Caber Music early next year. A recent BBC Radio 3 review described them as purveying "dangerous rhyhm, waves of melody, hypnotic moods, sonic violence and shocking tenderness." Kay Smith has written, of their appearance at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival:

"As is to be expected, coming from the Scandanavian jazz scene, Stronen’s percussion was vibrantly adventurous. At first he whispered along with delicate brushwork; sticks were used too, to merely stroke the edges of symbols [sic!]. Later Stronen conjured up shades of American avant garde composer John Cage with, at times, sounds prosacically reminiscent of the crashing and clattering of dropped kitchen ware." (c) Kay Smith.

Also check out The Oracle, a good guide to jazz and more in Edinburgh.

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