Reid Anderson. Edinburgh Jazz Festival, July 2006.

The Bad Plus have an affinity with Scotland; whilst their pianist Ethan Iverson was booked for a series of concerts, the bassist from the band, Reid Anderson, was in town for a concert of his own music. He said that he rarely plays this any more – and only then in Scotland: he is a regular at the Edinburgh jazz festival.

Most of the music for this concert came from Reid’s 2001 album, The Vastness Of Space. The music is very spacious: the line up of two saxes, guitar, bass and drums create broad soundscapes. The tunes had a startling beauty.

The band – Laura MacDonald on alto, Bill McHenry on tenor, Jorge Rossy on drums and Graeme Stephen on guitar – played free but disciplined. The two saxes weaved in and out of each others solos, building layer upon layer. MacDonald’s playing was excellent – she has developed greatly over the past few years.

The music had a great intensity and depth, Anderson’s tunes providing the musicians the structure to improvise around. They finished with the moody, expansive, glowing Silence Is The Question, leaving the sound hanging in the air; it was a wonderful concert.

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