Saxophonist Tommy Smith and pianist Brian Kellock are Scotland’s international jazz ambassadors. Acclaimed as “world class” by Jazz Journal, they are master musicians who spin classic songs into creative gold and have a particular affinity with the music of Duke Ellington.
Both Smith and Kellock have experience of not only playing Ellington’s music but of playing it with musicians with first-hand experience of the Ellington band. In 1999 Smith was invited to take the chair once occupied by Ellington Orchestra legend Paul Gonsalves in a band that included former Ellington players Brit Woodman, Buster Cooper, Aaron Bell, John Lamb and Barry Lee Hall. And Kellock’s special relationship with fellow Scot Joe Temperley, who filled Harry Carney’s baritone boots in the Ellington Orchestra under Duke’s son, Mercer, produced much great music in the autumn of Temperley’s days.
As the musical director and featured soloist respectively of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s internationally acclaimed In the Spirit of Duke recording and again in SNJO’s recent presentation of Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige, Smith and Kellock are ideally placed to bring a strong sense of one of jazz’s greatest figures to their intimate, respectful but also light-hearted duo performances.
Tommy Smith – Saxaphone
Brian Kellock – Piano