Music review: Young Scottish Jazz Musician 2014

Jonathan Silk. Picture: Facebook
Jonathan Silk. Picture: Facebook
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IN A heartening kick-off to the 28th Glasgow International Jazz Festival, 23-year-old drummer Jonathan Silk from Dollar was judged Young Scottish Jazz musician of the Year, one of five finalists whose performances suggested that sheer musicality and technique are not in short supply among the emerging generation.

Young Scottish Jazz Musician 2014 Final - Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

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The other finalists were 22-year-old fellow drummer John Lowrie from Dumfries, alto saxophonist Helena Kay (20) from Perth, 20-year-old trumpeter Sean Gibbs from Edinburgh and pianist Fergus McCreadie, also from Dollar, who at a tender but impressively able 16, won the under-17 award for the second year running.

Organised by the Scottish Jazz Federation and sponsored by Birnam CD, the competition’s judging panel was headed by trombonist Chris Greive and included pianist Alan Benzie, winner of the inaugural YSJM award in 2007. Contestants were accompanied by a sterling trio of pianist Paul Harrison, double-bassist Mario Caribe and drummer Tom Gordon, the last vacating his stool for an apparent proliferation of up-and-coming young drummers.

A first-class honours graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire and a BBC Jazzlines Music Fellow, Silk provided muscular drive for his own composition, TBC, and slick drum and cymbal work for George Shearing’s Conception.

The evening’s percussive credentials were consolidated by a guest spot from last year’s winner, Corrie Dick, who introduced a gently lyrical element in a pairing of his own ballads, sighing brush work and mellow bass underpinning melodies which strolled so engagingly that pianist Harrison could be heard whistling along.

Seen on 25.06.14