Posts Tagged ‘Brian Kellock’


Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Tommy Smith "Bezique"featuring Brian Kellock (piano), Tommy Smith (tenor Saxophone)

  1. Bud Powell
  2. Very Early
  3. Never Let Me Go
  4. Come Rain Or Come Shine
  5. The Thrill Is Gone
  6. Ladies In Mercedes
  7. Don’t You Know I Care
  8. Parker 51
  9. Lush Life


Kenny Mathieson (The Scotsman) ***** — “SCOTLAND’S two leading jazz musicians convened for this duo performance at The Hub in Edinburgh in July and played in dazzling and highly inventive fashion on an intriguing mix of standards and contemporary jazz tunes, many of which were not part of their usual repertoire elsewhere. The vivid live recording captures much of the tension, spontaneous energy and exhilarating interplay of ldeas which made it such a memorable occasion.”

Dave Gelly (The Observer) “CD of the Week” — “The duet is the most exposed form in jazz because there’s simply nowhere to hide, and to record a duet live is a risky undertaking. That’s what makes this virtuoso performance, captured at last summer’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival, so impressive.”

Rob Adams (The Herald) **** — “It would be fascinating, in the time-honoured jazz way, to blind date 100 jazz enthusiats without local knowledge and see how many attribute this recording to two Scottish musicians. Recorded at their first live duo date together at Edinburgh International Jazz Festival in July, these nine tracks capture the saxophonist and pianist living up to their reputations and confirms for those present that both were absolutely on their mettle. There’s empathy, maybe even a little benign rivalry, tender romance, flowing, full cry creativity from both players, humour, and musical hooliganism, too, as Kellock takes Bill Evan’s Very Early from waltz to waltzer, and karate chops a glorious take on Steve Swallow’s latin-dancing Ladies In Mercedes. International class? You bet. Footballers get caps for much less.”

Peter Bacon (The Birmingham Post), Favourite CDs of 2003 — “Both men have technique verging on the gargantuan, yet the music on this live recording from The Hub in Edinburgh is never virtuosic for viruosity’s sake. Smith is the complete saxophonist, possessing a tone muscular when needed, and sweet as a nut on the ballads. Kellock does everything a post-Oscar Peterson pianist should.”

John Fordham (The Guardian) — “These are two of the most formidable soloists on the Scottish scene, pretty much in straightahead mode. Saxophonist Smith, as he has demonstrated with the American Joanne Brackeen, is a good duo collaborator with pianists, his more languorous Jan Garbarek-like aspect in other settings put aside in favour of a surging, hard-swinging style. But his formidable range, particularly in sustaining a remarkable purity on long, high sounds, is fully unwrapped on this collection of 11 standards old and new, including traditionals such as Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life, and Steve Swallow’s Ladies in Mercedes – the latter opening with an abstractedly Monkish piano intro from Kellock.”


Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Tommy Smith "Symbiosis"featuring Brian Kellock (piano), Tommy Smith (saxophone)

  1. Without A Song
  2. Cherokee
  3. You’ve Changed
  4. Don’t Blame Me
  5. Moonlight In Vermont
  6. Manhattan
  7. Skylark
  8. Honeysuckle Rose
  9. Pure Imagination
  10. Bernie’s Tune
  11. You Must Believe In Spring

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John Fordham (The Guardian) — A rematch for the Scottish saxophone-and-piano partnership of Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock, following their fine debut on a standards repertoire with Bezique. Once again, the themes are from the Broadway songbook, and once again the standard of playing and the empathy between these two – who can play anything they can think, and who increasingly think of things other people don’t – is subtly captivating.

Smith’s beautiful tenor tone on Without a Song is trancelike before the swing cranks up, while the usually headlong Cherokee is taken at a deliberately slow purr. You’ve Changed makes the tenor sound like Johnny Hodges’ fluting alto, and Kellock’s crystalline intro to Skylark is briefly exquisite. The wispy epilogue on Michel Legrand’s You Must Believe in Spring, meanwhile, turns on the saxophonist’s uncanny control of timbre.

Smith is now established as the Jan Garbarek of orthodox jazz, and this scintillating partnership – for those who reach for the off switch when standards surface – represents a respectful and creative definition of what it can still be in the 21st century.