GD Jam – Scottish Blues Weekend Concert 10.2.20

REVIEW – by Antonia Bruce

Gorgie & Dalry Jam – Monday 10 February 2020

Edinburgh Jazz Festival’s regular Monday night community jam session in the St Bride’s Centre Dalry opened its doors for an informal concert on Monday 10th February which encapsulated the spirit of community music making. Its inclusive atmosphere allowed a wide range of ages, abilities and instruments to shine. 

The St Bride’s Centre is a converted church which is home to this group of keen musicians; its fairy lights and amphitheatre seating gave the event a cosy and welcoming feel. 

Professional Blues musicians Jed Potts and Nicole Smitt gave a taste of the songs they had performed over the previous two days to packed houses at the Edinburgh Blues Weekend to open the gig. Their soulful, unusual choices of blues tunes evoked links between American folk and Cajun music and transported me to the southern states of the US in decades gone by. The audience was particularly delighted with the semi-improvised piano and trombone accompaniment to one of Nicole’s songs.

In the second half, the regular players of the Monday night jam played a selection of classic jazz tunes, with extra support from the professionals. It was wonderful to see the mix of ages and instruments from flute to bass guitar and violin to flugelhorn, all encouraged to improvise solos during grooves such as Soul Bossa Nova and Hound Dog. I was struck by the relaxed and happy vibes from the band in which the audience gladly shared, and by the unshowy but highly competent musicianship of the band leaders. 

This was a groovy evening with just the right balance of relaxed atmosphere and quality sounds in a lovely venue. I look forward to the next event.