Glasgow-born drummer Corrie Dick returns to his hometown to open the latest series of Jazz at the Merchants House in West George Street with his quintet on Sunday February 19.
A former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, Dick left Glasgow to study in London on the jazz course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. After graduating as a gold medal student, he continued to study formally and informally.
He was mentored in Ghanaian rhythms by Kpanlogo master Saddiq Addy and he investigated the traditional and modern music of Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Having played on the London scene while at Trinity Laban, Dick continued as an essential component of trumpeter Laura Jurd’s Mercury Prize-shortlisted group Dinosaur and has worked with pianist Elliot Galvin’s trio and guitarist Rob Luft’s group as well as leading his own band and co-writing with musicians from across the jazz and folk music spectrum.
His new album, Sun Swells, reflects both his own restless musical explorations and the eclectic whims of the iPod shuffle generation.
“I wanted to write a jazz album that had rock instrumentation at its core,” he says. “Rob Luft, bassist Tom McCredie and I have been improvising and composing together for years and have forged a sound that’s uniquely crunchy and yet summery. So, I wanted that sound decorated with all sorts of elements.”
These elements include prose written by guest vocalists, Englishman Dave Malkin and Greek-Norwegian Marianna Sangita, vocal melodies and horn lines.
I wanted to write a jazz album that had rock instrumentation at its core
On the Glasgow gig Dick will be joined by a slightly different but no less talented cast, singer-cellist Moidori Jaeger, guitarist James Kitchman, alto saxophonist Norman Willmore, and pianist Tom Gibbs.
“This is outsider jazz,” says Dick. “It’s extremely listenable music with lots of current, familiar ingredients put together in a way that might not be instantly familiar.
"There are lots of contrasts – stillness, turbulence, beauty, astringency – but for me it finds cohesion in the disparate and I’m looking forward to bringing it to the Glasgow audience.”
Following Dick’s concert, Jazz at the Merchants House continues with the Edinburgh-based Scottish National Jazz Orchestra saxophonist, Martin Kershaw’s octet on Sunday March 12.
Kershaw’s colleague from the SNJO saxophone section, Helena Kay’s KIM Trio appears on April 2 followed by a double bill of solo performances from pianist Brian Kellock and drummer Alyn Cosker on May 7. Violinist, singer and broadcaster Seonaid Aitken’s Chasing Sakura ensemble completes the programme on June 4.