Colin Steele & Friends. Edinburgh, May 2008.

Another gig in Edinburgh: this time Colin Steele and Brian Kellock with the house band at the Jazz Bar.

I had noticed trumpeter Steele concentrating hard on Enrico Rava’s playing earlier in the week. In the subterranean dive of the Jazz Bar, he took the limelight – it was his evening.

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They played standards, rather than Steele’s own music, but his playing was scintillating. Reaching for the high notes – and hitting them – his trumpet sounded ringing and striking.

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Keith Edwards on tenor produced a rich tone which balanced Steele’s more strident sound – Edwards played some great solos, and the two of them bounced lines around in true chasing style.

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Kellock played less of a role than I had expected, and Bill Kyle, who plays drums as well running the Jazz Bar, could have been more forceful and driving – it felt like he was hanging back behind Edwards and Steele.

My one gripe was the audience: they got louder and louder and louder, until I could hear more of the audience than I could of the music – and I was sitting at the front! Why go to a jazz gig to talk? It the depths of the cellar, the chatter was distracting. It was good for the bar – a lot of people means they must have sold a lot of beer! – but a shame for the music.

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