Music review: Afternoon Jazz at the Depot, Leith Depot, Edinburgh

What better way to pass an afternoon, during Edinburgh’s current tropically unpredictable climate, than in the intimate upstairs venue of Leith Depot, with a cool beer and some pretty hot jazz?

The show maintains the amiable feel of a casual jam session

Afternoon Jazz at the Depot, Leith Depot (Venue 214) * * * *

Canadians pianist Ron Davis and guitarist Kevin Barrett are both here as part of Davis’s highly creative jazz-classical fusion outfit SymphRONica, playing elsewhere on the Fringe.

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The pair are joined at the Depot by various guests, on this occasion Edinburgh-based singer Susanna MacDonald under the auspices of the ongoing Transatlantic Happiness Project she maintains with Barrett, plus a tight rhythm section in drummer Greg Irons and double-bassist Emma Smith.

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Macdonald is a powerful singer who can work up quite a holler – occasionally overpowering in such a cosy venue – but she brought real passion to Skylark while she and the band gave Kevin Quain’s Let’s Get Loaded some good old fashioned swing.

READ MORE: Music review: Angela Hewitt, Usher Hall, EdinburghThere were deft solo interludes from both Irons and Smith, while Barrett’s steely yet round-toned electric guitar alongside Davis’s keyboard work were constant presences, Davis ranging bluesily through a feisty concluding rendition of People Get Ready.

Unscheduled and astonishing was the sudden collapse, on two occasions, of Davis’s keyboard stand, which at one point had him stooping to continue to play the floored instrument, unabashed. His floor piano technique may be impressive, but, next time, get the man a decent keyboard stand.

Until 25 August.