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Caber Music- Jazz from Scotland


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To celebrate Caber’s Colin Steele topping Jazz Review magazine’s (UK) critics end of year poll my friends at Caber have agreed to a CD give-away. Maybe a new Organissimo tradition !!!! :P:P

Jazz from Scotland is very much in the ascendancy and has been for several years as result of a great pool of talent and the work by Caber Music and others to get this vital scene documented.

On offer to the first ten Organissimo members to PM me is a very fine limited edition Caber 5th anniversary compilation CD featuring tracks from Trio AAB, Celtic Feet, Colin Steele, Dave Milligan a.o. This stuff is highly varied and has it’s own identity pretty much and to the trained ear it’s all clearly Scottish !!!

This is open to members from any part of the world who might be interested and prepared to post their views ( both positive and negative) in this thread.

As with all good compilations it features a previously unreleased track by the wonderful Brian Kellock trio ( from the Live at Henry’s sessions) :excited::excited:

Sound clips for some releases are available from the website.


Edited by Clunky
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This is Colin's second Cd by this particular band, the music pretty and straight forward really. This CD has a palpable Scottish feeling throughout and works very nicely. It's played straight as I have mentioned but the tunes sparkle and can be hummed and it's really just good fun stuff. The line up is. O¹Donnell is a monster bassist watch out for him. He's young but has great timing and a huge tone. Wonderful.

Colin Steele - Trumpet

Julian Argüelles - Sax

Dave Milligan - Piano

Aidan O¹Donnell - Double Bass

John Rae - Drums

As for the best there is well. I am really pleased for Colin who deserves the credit but clearly end of year lists are highly subjective even as in this case is the result of votes from a dozen or so writers.

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ok....over to the following , hope you get some enjoyment from the disc ( when it arrives). I will do my best to answer any questions you might have.









Tom in RI

Edited by Clunky
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  • 2 weeks later...

CD received yesterday, thanks. After one play through I have to own up to being more than a tad disappointed, it's certainly varied though. Maybe it was the choice of tracks but I didn't find very much to interest me but I was glad of the chance to sample this music.

On a more positive note, I've been able to listen to Colin Steele's "The Journey Home" cd in its entirety. It's very extremely pleasant, easy to listen to and has a lot of charm. Steele has a lovely slightly smokey tone and gets off some nice melodic solos. I think I might find the more obvious folk elements a bit wearing after a while though. The folk elements are accentuated by the soprano sax, which adds a bagpipe drone here and there and I would have preferred some more from Arguelles soft toned tenor. Pianist Milligan and drummer Rae are both impressive. In all a record worth trying out, more than just something for the curious

Edited by JohnS
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The CD arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, thank you -and I've just been able to give it a quick listen. General impression is that the music is kind of soft - not many raw edges - but I think maybe Celtic Feet has a potential for that if I could hear more of them. The Aab trio sounds quite interesting and Brian Kellock is a hell of a piano player, even if I prefer his mainstream (mostly) solo playing to his more boppish excursions. The Colin Steele track to me lacked something in exctitement and drama - it's not because I can't take a soft and relaxed setting, but I found this one a little onedimensional. Maybe I'll discover something more after repeated listening.

I'll consider getting some more Caber CDs, and just now it would be one of Aabs, one Celtic Feet and a solo Kellock, then.

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CD arrived day before yesterday so although I've given it a couple of plays through, I'll maybe post a more thorough review when I've digested it more.

Caveats are that I am Scottish and the proximity to Burn's night and haggis consumption may colour my judgement. :)

I've also been picking up a few of the Caber Releases as I've seen them. I've got:

Trio AAB - Wherever I lay ... (which is interesting but doesn't grab me like I hoped),

Martyn Kershaw (enjoyable, with a great version of Dance of the Siamese Children),

Both Celtic Feet albums (likeable but maybe a bit too folky for me)

and the Chick Lyall - Solitary Dance CD which again is interesting and enjoyable, but more later...

Initial standouts are Colin Steele which is an interesting composition with Scottish folk elements. Arguelles is an unsung talent too

The Brian Kellock track is excellent so I'll be keeping and eye out for that album. (As an aside I caught a bit of a broadcast of Kellock and Tommy Smith at St Magnus' Cathedral that was excellent! Worthy of release?)

The Celtic Feet I'm less sure of. Its enjoyable but maybe a bit too folky for me. I have the albums (picked up secondhand, sorry) and always meant to dig them out again which I will.

Surprise for me was the Chick Lyall track, from an album which I own but have never really spent the time with. Isolated the track sounded great so I will definitely spend more time with that.

Will post more when I've listened more!

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This one is growing on me quite a bit. At first I found it a bit too polite for my tastes, although I enjoyed the first two tracks on their own terms. The second and third times through converted me, and I know I'll be returning to it again. Track one is not much jazzier than Norah Jones, but is really quite nice. The guitar quintet on track two is very enjoyable in an ECM sort of way. The somewhat more adventurous sounds fo Trio AAB and Swisher make for nice contrast, and the folk elements of Celtic Feet are winning me over. Kellock has a nice way with Bird on the ivories. Many thanks for the enjoyable new sounds.

Randy Hersom

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I agree with a lot of what Randy has to say. This is a very pleasant disc that, upon first listen, does come accross as almost too polite. There are still some tracks that are just not too my taste but I am appreciating the disc more each time I listen to it. I'll post more specific thoughts in a day or two. After that, if someone else wants to give the disc a spin I'd be happy to share it with someone else on the board.

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More agreement from my side. The disk is pleasant enough. Initially, my reaction was like many others it seems, that this was all a bit too smooth to be interesting. I have come to appreciate some tracks more now. Others, OTOH I really do not like that much.

Anyhow, Caber has been put on my map (I didn't know of them before) as have some artists. I have not been struck by lightning and will not run out to buy disks this very moment, but I will audition them with an open ear if I get the chance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been meaning to come back and post more thoughts but haven't found the time recently. Apologies for that. As I said earlier, this disc has been growing on me with each listen. Many of the tracks are just not the type of music I would choose to listen to while others I am greatly enjoying.

Niki King - Winter Blues - A very pleasant track, but vocal jazz has almost never done anything for me.

Scottish Guitar Quartet - Near the Circle - This one I am enjoying quite a bit. It is a little too "polite" for my taste (you mentioned earlier that this is intentional, trying to appeal more to the jazz novice. Too bad, I wish the artists had cut loose a bit more.) but still has a really nice sound and I would check out more releases by this group.

John Rae's Celtic Feet - Boogie Celt - I don't really hear the "celtic" in this one. I do, however, dig the 1920's doxoeland-ish vibe they get going. It sounds like they had a blast recording this track!

John Burgess - Festina Lente - Nice mellow latin vibe. Great for late nice relaxing in winter, daydreaming about being someplace warmer.

Tam White & Brian Kellock - Hey Mister - Sorry, not my speed at all. Reminds me of Tony Bennett. It is nice enough, but, as I said above, vocal jazz just isn't my cup of tea.

Mario Caribe - Delia Lee - another good track. I like the buildup of energy as the song goes along. I was happy that one of the tracks started to cut loose a bit. Good stuff.

Trio AAB - Yet - This track really interests me. I'd be curious to hear their album. I wonder how representative of their overall sound this track is? Sort of electronic, sort of new-agey. The track itself doesn't blow me away but I like it and want to hear more of their work.

Dave Milligan Trio - Piper's Bidding - very sparse and minimal, quite a somber mood. I really like this one more than I thought I was going to. I would check out more of their work if it was similar to this.

Swirler - Wrinkle - I'm sure the electric bass and organ turned some people off but I thought this track was a blast! It is unusual to hear a bass in an organ trio but, in this instance, it works. Great fun!

more to come...

Edited by John B
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  • 3 months later...

Wonderful concert by the Caber crowd at last weekends Bath Jazz weekend. John Rae's Celtic Feet in rip-roaring form accompanied by two superb Hungarians on cimbalon and violin (what with Arnie Somogyi's Hungarian project things Magyar seem to be the flavour of the year). Brian Kellock on piano was quite marvellous.

A great mix of Scottish and Hungarian folk musics given a jazz treatment and carried off with an overwhelming sense of fun.

Kellock also did a lovely solo lunchtime concert on Sunday, ruminating through Ellington, standards and Fats Waller. Beautiful.

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That was an excellent concert by 'Celtic Feet' at Bath. The fiddle player and accordionist in combination were hot !

Louis Sclavis and 'Napoli's Walls' was my personal favourite - although it got a pretty mixed reaction from the punters.

Did you see the performance in the Guildhall by 'Stimmhorn'? Music will never be the same again after seeing that amazing show. First time for the Alpenhorn in jazz. Also first time I've ever seen an accordionist repair his kit with screwdriver mid-show looking totally cool about it and making it into theatre. Amazing ! :)

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