Colin Steele Quartet
Drygate, Glasgow G4 0YF, UK
Marina Records proudly presents one of its most unusual and best releases yet: The music of The Pearlfishers, one of Marina’s most beloved acts, gets the royal jazz treatment in exciting new arrangements by the Colin Steele Quartet. Continuing a great jazz tradition - like Miles Davis with “Porgy & Bess” (’58) and Chet Baker with “Plays Lerner & Loewe” (’59) - the entire album is dedicated to the work of one composer - David Scott of The Pearlfishers. Colin Steele from Edinburgh, one of UK’s leading jazz trumpeters, adds his very own sound and interpretations to Scott’s songs and transports them into a brand new musical territory.
Steele has a long association with The Pearlfishers since he appeared as a studio musician on many of their albums. Steele: “I’d played on many sessions with The Pearlfishers before, and have a similiar taste in music with David Scott, with our shared love of Burt Bacharach, Beatles and Beach Boys. I was impressed by the depth of the beautiful melodies and could immediately hear my own voice playing these melodies - specifically using the ‘Miles Davis sound’ of the Harmon mute.”The results are simply gorgeous. The album kickstarts with the joyous blast of “The Bluebells” - a song that originally appeared on the Pearlfishers album “Up With The Larks”. Colin Steele makes it swing and rise just beautifully. His warm, melodic playing and tone is also a perfect match for the wonderful “Everything Works Out”, one of Scott’s most enduring songs. “The Vampires Of Camelon” rides on a great piano riff reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi - brilliantly played by Dave Milligan, Steele’s long-time collaborator, who also arranged the album. Quite fabulously so.
“Ice Race” - from the Pearlfishers’ seasonal album “A Sunflower At Christmas” - gets propelled to new heights by the powerhouse drumming of Alyn Cosker. It just grabs you and won’t let you go. “Gone In The Winter” is a superb showcase for the exceptional deep-toned, warm double-bass playing of Calum Gourlay. Just stunning.
The piano intro of “The Umbrellas Of Shibuya” quite fittingly recalls the stripped-down beauty of Ryuichi Sakamoto. And then Steele breezes in with the fantastic melody and his imaginative playing. The album comes to a perfect close with the blissful coda “Swan Dreams” (originally from “Sky Meadows”). Simply sublime.
“Diving For Pearls” was recorded in just one day - like many of the greatest jazz albums - at Scotland’s famous Castlesound studios (The Blue Nile, Orange Juice, R.E.M.). Masterfully engineered by Stuart Hamilton. You really get the “in-the-room-with-the-artist” feel. Dive, baby, dive!
7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm show time
Over 14s, under 16s accompanied by an adult over 18
Festival website: www.jazzfest.co.uk