Edinburgh Jazz Festival


Spiegeltent George Square

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Rob Adams


Only the midnight curfew put the brakes on Dumpstaphunk delivering a New Orleans groovefest straight to the heart of Saturday night. The seven-piece band that keeps the Meters’ flame burning with its tighter-than-tight interlocking guitars, bass guitars – sometimes two of the them driving the music forward – and drums seemed unstoppable up to that point.

Theirs is the sound of celebration and jubilation, even when their songs are dealing with social issues. Keep on through the blues and bad news is the message and with three distinctive voices – keyboardist Ivan Neville joining bassist Nick Daniels and guitarist-bassist Tony Hall at the mics – their chants are rich and their shared vocal lines characterful and persuasive.  

All New Orleans’ musical life is in here: soul, funk and blues, of course, and even if their trumpet and trombone section come from  “out of town”, they do a fine job of incorporating Crescent City marching band-style howling and riffing into their veritable tower of brass power.

If Neville is the band’s spokesman, Hall is its court jester, the jack the lad who gets the crowd animated and involved, although truth to  tell, the music, with its slinky guitar and Hammond licks,   big bottom end and super-precise, super-punchy drumming, is animating and involving in itself.

A new feature of the festival this year is the nightly sessions in the Traverse Café Bar. Saturday’s, with Rumba de Bodas, was very much at the festival’s party end as the Italians filled the dancefloor  with non-stop, energetic music that began with the baritone sax riff from Charles Mingus’ Moanin’ and veered off into Latin America, swing-chanson and good time bump and grind.