Tommy jazzes up the tale of Peter and the wolf

LOOKING to keep the young ones entertained this weekend while introducing them to the world of jazz? The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) could have the perfect solution.
Scottish National Jazz OrchestraScottish National Jazz Orchestra
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

‘I wasnae a bad boay, I wasnae a bad boay, nut at all. Jist... ah was full o devilment an curiosity.

But, och, ah’m getting ahead o masel. Let me tell ye a story.

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‘Ah’m a grandfaither masel noo. But I want to tell ye aw a story. This is the story aboot me, me and the Wolf.’

On Saturday, at the Queen’s Hall, the SNJO present Peter and the Wolf, arranged and orchestrated by local saxophonist Tommy Smith with text in Scots by Liz Lochhead.

The family concert features fresh jazz interpretations of Prokofiev’s cautionary tale of Peter and the Wolf followed by Saint-Saëns’ famous Carnival of the Animals, which has been given an original spin by composer and virtuoso pianist Makoto Ozone.

Widely adored by generations of children the tales have been translated into the jazz idiom by Smith who knows the power of music in storytelling.

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He says, “These original performances promise a wonderful evening of spoken word and descriptive music suitable for all.”

While the story of Peter and the Wolf is well known, Carnival of the Animals is a dizzying, dazzling, zoological roundabout that might have been built for the benefit of jazz musicians. It’s not difficult to imagine the different instruments in the SNJO creating pictures in sound, and conjuring creatures from just a few notes on the page... it’s guaranteed to be fast, furious and enormous fun.

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, 24 February, 7.30pm (pres-concert talk 6.45pm), £23-£25, 0131-668 2019