Saturday, 10 December 2011

National Jazz Trio of Scotland - Bill Wells Gets Busy

The National Jazz Trio of Scotland has never really been a trio. Nor
has Bill Wells’ cheekily-monickered combo ever played jazz in the
conventional sense. With a first album of original material, the
waggishly christened Standards Volume Two, imminent, Wells and his
reconvened NJT play DIY promoters Tracer Trails Christmas shindig to
showcase a more vocal-based direction care of Golden Grrrls singer
Lorna Gilfeather and Findo Gask/Francois and the Atlas Mountains
vocalist Gerard Black.

“It started off as one thing and became something else,” Wells says of
the NJT’s metamorphosis. “There’s never any definite idea of what we’re
doing, and it becomes what it becomes.”

With his high-profile collaboration with Aidan Moffat ongoing, the
Tracer Trails bill will also feature Pianotapes, Wells’ collaboration
with Stefan Schneider of German electronicists To Rococco Rot, and
Belle & Sebastian guitarist Stevie Jackson, who Wells may also end up
playing with.

Wells’ prolific back-catalogue has long straddled indie and jazz worlds
to form a deliciously unclassifiable body of work. A new album,
Lemondale, was recorded in Japan with the cream of the country’s
underground alongside similarly versatile American émigré Jim O’Rourke.
Live, a Celtic Connections show with Bridget St John and Lol Coxhill is
pending.

“I always wish I’d done more,” says Wells, “mainly because I started
late, but for me it feels like I’m still catching up. But if you’ve got
all these ideas, then you’re going to be releasing more records than
most people.”

Wells & Moffat, The Arches, Glasgow, December 20th; National Jazz Trio
of Scotland / Pianotapes / Stevie Jackson, Old St Paul's Church,
Edinburgh, December 21st

The List, December 2011


ends

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