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In the first of four jazz concerts to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, Tommy Smith, director of both the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and his titular Youth Jazz Orchestra who was recently awarded an OBE “for services to education and jazz music”, reprised what is widely regarded as one of the most successful commissions of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival: Beasts of Scotland (Linn Records), inspired by a sequence of ten wildlife poems by the late Edwin Morgan from his collection Virtual and Other Realities (Carcanet).

Joined on stage by two members from the original 1996 recording: fellow saxophonist Andy Panayi and drummer Tom Gordon; two musicians from his current quartet: pianist Pete Johnstone and bassist Calum Gourlay; trumpeter James Copus; and actor Tam Dean Burn who last month encountered a snarling beast in the shape of a knife-wielding thug; Beasts of Scotland is, to quote a couple of Champagne-swigging cougars, read the rest of the article here.