Which would explain why the City Halls Recital Room was packed out on a particularly miserable Sunday night in December.
The Scottish jazz world’s answer to the Fab Four seemed determined to leave no listener unconverted. After kicking off with a slow and solemn Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas they exploded into life like a New Orleans funeral band with a freewheeling and dynamic take on Comin’ Home Baby, which not only created an instant party atmosphere but set out the template for the way this unique band works. Baritone saxophonist Allon Beauvoisin – a one-man rhythm section – is the glue that holds the sound together, while his bandmates, trumpeter Ryan Quigley and saxophonists Paul Towndrow and Konrad Wiszniewski, bring colour and theatricality to the proceedings, along with a hint of Marx Brothers-like mayhem.
On tune after tune – notably such funky numbers as Joe Zawinal’s Walk Tall and Horace Silver’s Señor Blues – in the first half of Sunday’s concert, it was impossible to resist the infectious joie de vivre emanating from this lively band. During the second set, a series of samey-sounding and occasionally rather turgid original compositions threatened to sap the party spirit but a joyous Sunny, played as an encore while the group snaked its way around the room, ensured that the night ended on a high.