Music

Elliot Galvin Trio

Jazz Bar

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Edinburgh

Rob Adams

FOUR STARS

You’d never know that Corrie Dick is a recent arrival into pianist Elliot Galvin’s trio. The Glasgow-born, London-based Dick, who won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year title in 2013, wasn’t the drummer on the album that Galvin is touring to promote, Punch, but he has assimilated himself into the twists, turns and idiosyncrasies of Galvin’s music so well that it seemed as if he’d been involved in its conception.

Galvin presents a deeply involved and thoroughly evolved musical experience. There are pieces that sound as if drawn from the soul of Eastern European folk melodies. Others touch on African folklore and instrumentation in the shape of a thumb piano or completely reinvent items from the standards repertoire. Still others take an original theme and develop it through a multitude of variations, and that’s before we get to the sheer theatre of the trio interacting with a Punch & Judy soundtrack or Galvin’s virtuosic extemporising on a melodica.

A particular favourite involved Galvin literally tearing strips off a roll of gaffer tape into the microphone as Tom McCredie played a muscular bassline and then improvising with jaw-dropping facility on piano keys whose strings were dampened with said strips of tape. Lulu’s Back in Town featured similar keyboard brilliance, sounding like the product of a liaison between Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Cecil Taylor and Scott Joplin, and Mack the Knife, with its familiar melody whistled over a juddering, reconfigured rhythm, took an engaging walk on the wild side. That all this passes to the listener so easily, and often so entertainingly, is a tribute to Galvin’s wit, wisdom and inclusive musicality.