Jazz review: Havana Swing
HAVANA SWING **** ROYAL OVERSEAS LEAGUE, EDINBURGH
THERE's a first time for everything, as Monday lunchtime's Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival gig at the Royal Overseas League proved. Never before at a jazz concert have I seen the police being called to deal with an incident of alleged assault – though given how cramped this venue is (and always has been), it's little wonder that tempers get frayed.
The Dundee band Havana Swing was halfway through its first set of Django Reinhardt-associated and inspired music when all hell broke loose at the back of the room. This music does seem to attract nutters – after all, we had hecklers at the previous day's Django gig.
As for the music? Well, it was happy, jaunty, feelgood jazz executed with great panache by the quartet who seemed chuffed by the fact that a fracas had kicked off at their concert.
Among the many highlights were the snappy Hotel du Palais, which, we were told, "sounds very grand but was written one night when the lads were in Aberfeldy", and the superb closers of the first set, I'll See You in My Dreams and Bei Mir Bist Du Schon, which featured wonderful, dynamic playing by Walter Smith whose clarinet has a lovely, warm tone.
Indeed, the band, which was really cooking from the get-go, seemed to up the ante even more after the drama.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
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