Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 In The Mood: The Music of Glenn Miller The Jazz Bar (Venue 57) Review Saturday 19th August

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In The Mood: The Music of Glenn Miller at The Jazz Bar in Chambers Street brings together four of Scotland’s top jazz musicians, Brian Kellock (piano), Colin Steele (trumpet), Roy Percy (bass) and Tom Gordon (drums) as they pay an obviously warm and heart-felt tribute to probably the most iconic American Dance band of all time and one of the greatest arrangers (and sometimes composer) of music of the 20th century…Glenn Miller.

The vast commercial success of The Glenn Miller Orchestra and their enduring success are a tribute to the unique musical arrangements of the band, particularly of clarinets and saxophones, and it is a huge credit to not only the quality of the musicians on stage but also the skilful arrangements to suit this quartet that you can sit back and so soon forget that there are no clarinets and saxophones here, and a big part of that success is down to the (as usual) impressive trumpet playing skills of Colin Steele.

Some equally impressive performances too from Brian Kellock on piano (a wonderful  performance of “Starlight”)  and from Tom Gordon on drums (an amazing intro to "Chattanooga Choo Choo") with Roy Percy equally impressive all through this set on bass.  If I have to pick a favourite from this set though, a great performance from everyone on my favourite Glenn Miller song, but sadly one that is often left out of sets, the wonderful “American Patrol”.

If there was one problem with this show, it was that it was only on for an hour, because I could happily have listened to these four guys all afternoon, and from the sounds of applause at the end, everyone else in the packed Jazz Bar would have happily stayed there too.  Without doubt, one of my favourite shows of this year’s Fringe as right from the very start before a note was even played you just knew that a line up of this level of talent and experience were going to deliver something very special to their audience…and they did.

 

Review by Tom King

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