Grammy-winning pianist Geoffrey Keezer joins SNJO on tour
Geoffrey Keezer (promotional photo)
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra plays a series of concerts with Grammy-winning pianist-composer-arranger Geoffrey Keezer at the end of September.
Keezer, who won the Best Instrumental Composition GRAMMY for Refuge from his Playdate album this year, has an extensive CV including work with Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, and Sting. He has also enjoyed a long relationship with the SNJO.
“Over the past twenty years, Keezer has created much beauty for the SNJO,” says the orchestra’s founder and musical director, saxophonist Tommy Smith. “He has transformed compositions by such iconic figures as Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker and has really shown his mastery in the art of arranging by giving established pieces his own inventive treatment.”
Keezer’s arrangements for the SNJO have appeared on the orchestra’s albums, American Adventure, Celebration and Where Rivers Meet, and Smith is looking forward to bringing Keezer’s own compositions and more arrangements of recognised classics to the SNJO audience in Glasgow (29 September), Aberdeen (30 September) and Edinburgh (1 October).
"Holy Grail" recording by guitar virtuoso Louis Stewart released
Louis Stewart and Noel Kelehan (publicity photos)
The recently reactivated Dublin-based Livia Records releases Some Other Blues, the second in a series of albums featuring Irish jazz guitar master Louis Stewart on Friday 26th May.
Following on from the remastering and reissue of Stewart’s 1977 solo album, Out on His Own earlier this year, Some Other Blues is a previously unreleased studio recording by Stewart and his friend, pianist Noel Kelehan.
The album is the only known recording by the two musicians, who thrilled Irish audiences throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and was only recently discovered. Regarded as the Holy Grail of Irish jazz, it dates back to 1977, when Stewart was working with saxophonist Ronnie Scott’s group and fitting in Dublin gigs with Kelehan on visits home.
Kelehan went on to become a busy composer, arranger and conductor for Irish broadcaster RTE which lessened the time he had available for playing jazz but Some Other Blues finds both him and Stewart at the peak of their abilities.
The album features eight standards, including the title track by John Coltrane, and a ballad written by Kelehan, I Only Have Time to Say I Love You. The CD includes a 12-page booklet with liner notes by former Louis Stewart bassist and educator, Ronan Guilfoyle, and a trove of previously unseen photographs.