Tim Kliphuis Sextet Review The Queen's Hall Edinburgh Friday 17th February 2017


Tim Kliphuis Sextet - TheTenth Anniversary Concert at The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh was simply one of those rare musical events that you just hoped would play on all night.  Award-winning violinist Tim Kliphuis has taken musical threads from Gypsy Jazz, European  and American Jazz, Folk, Baroque and Classical music and woven a new and rich musical tapestry of sound absorbing along the way composers including Duke Ellington, John McLaughlin, Vivaldi, Aaron Copeland, Strauss and of course his own compositions.  The inspired combination of musical flavours is a pleasure to listen to.

With Tim on stage tonight were Nigel Clark (guitar)  and Roy Percy (bass) who made up our original Tim Kliphuis trio, with special guests Francesca Hunt (violin), Seonaid Aitken (violin, viola, vocals) and Su-a Lee (cello).

Opening the show with “Lucy’s Waltz”, our musical adventure took us down many musical roads. Two movements from Tim’s new album “Reflecting the Seasons”  were performed – “Summer” and “Spring”.  These works come from Tim’s “reflected look” at Vivaldi’s famous “Four Seasons”.  Other highlights included a well received reworking of Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” titled “Hoedown For The Common Man”.

The gypsy jazz sounds of Django Reinhardt featured prominently in both sets tonight, and watching Tim and Seonaid Aitken (herself no stranger to the music, also playing with Gypsy Jazz band Rose Room) so obviously enjoying working with this music together was fun to watch and a pleasure to listen to. Getting that classic jazz voice of Seonaid’s on “Don't Worry 'Bout Me” was for me another musical highlight.

Su-a Lee provided one of the most interesting musical diversions of the evening with an ethereal sounding “Moon River” played on the musical saw.

Closing our show tonight, music from Richard Strauss – “Morgen”, but of course with the subtle musical twists that we had enjoyed all evening.

This show  is up there with the very best that I have ever been to in any musical genre, and when you get musicians of this talent level together on stage, all so obviously enjoying being together and playing music together then something special will always happen.

Also nice to hear limited amplification of music (just a small guitar amp and vocal microphone that I could see), just letting the wonderful natural acoustics that are in the Queen’s Hall do the job for everything.  Sometimes, wiring up for amplified sound can distort the relationships a bit between the acoustic differences of different instruments, so great just to hear them in their natural state.

Also nice to see Tim taking the time to introduce some students from the Edinburgh School of Music to the stage, and give them that all-important experience of performing in a professional concert and getting first-hand experience of improvising with other musicians, on a version of Robert Burns’ “Brose and Butter”. 

For more information on Tim Kliphuis visit http://www.timkliphuis.com/

Review by Tom King


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