Edinburgh International Film Festival and Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to play Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain live
- Alex Johnston
- 20 March 2019
Young English trumpeter Laura Jurd takes the trumpet seat in this one-off performance of one of the great jazz classics of the Sixties
Jazz fans, rejoice in that way that you rejoice: by nodding very slightly and murmuring 'Cool, cool.' The Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra are teaming up to present a special one-off performance of Miles Davis' classic 1960 album Sketches of Spain, featuring the adventurous young English trumpeter Laura Jurd in, so to speak, the role of Miles Davis.
Latin jazz had been a thing since Dizzy Gillespie had worked with Cuban musicians in the 1940s, but Sketches of Spain took it in new directions by incorporating Spanish classical and folk music. It featured large-band arrangements, by Miles' long-term collaborator Gil Evans, of a traditional folk tune, pieces by Manuel de Falla and the haunting slow movement from Rodrigo's epic Concerto de Aranjuez. It wasn't the first time Miles Davis had expanded what jazz could be, and it wouldn't be the last, but it's the most lushly romantic album he ever made. It won the 1961 Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition—ironic, really, since most of it was originally written by other people.
Tommy Smith and the SNJO are no newcomers to revisiting classic jazz. Smith has recently come from a close encounter with the music of John Coltrane, and his epic re-orchestration of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is one of the high points of the last twenty years of Scottish jazz. Jurd is an award-winning musician, an agile improviser who incorporates elements of folk music, rock and synth-pop into her solo music and her work with Dinosaur.
This collaboration with the EIFF is inspired by the festival's 2019 focus on Spanish cinema.
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Sketches of Spain, The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 28 Jun. Tickets on sale from Wed 20 Mar.