Way Out South, Natascha Roth and JS

Produced, engineered, arranged, composed, played –  James

“Way Out South” – A journey into a world of sounds and space and hypnotic rhythms. The South is a spiritual place within as well as a physical reality without. A world of extremes where light and dark meet, where music heals and reconnects the spirit.

South African duo Natascha Roth and James Scholfield were lucky enough to borrow some particularly tasty gear for the making of this album, and they’ve made full use of it. Their sound layers arpeggiated guitars from Schofield with Emmylou Harris-style warbling from Roth, and since the overall feel is very gentle and downbeat, there is precious little room for bad sounds to hide. Happily, then, the playing, singing and recording are all excellent

“Sound On Sound”

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The Scotsman review, Curtis Stigers, Edinburgh

Review: Curtis Stigers, Dirty Martini, Edinburgh
Curtis Stigers, Dirty Martini, Edinburgh, Monday December 3rd *****

The four months which have passed since Curtis Stigers last walked off the stage at the Dirty Martini evaporated in a nanosecond on Monday night when he didn’t so much start a new residency in the opulent, and intimate venue – as pick up where he left off in the summer, greeting the packed audience like old pals, and engaging in the same sort of cosy, often confessorial, banter that had marked his July appearances and helped make them so enjoyable.

Stigers clearly thrives in this “Up Close and Personal” type of gig, accompanied by just guitarist James Scholfield. Not only is there the engagement with an adoring audience which hangs on his every word from an unusually close vantage point, but there’s an informality and looseness to the show, which allows Stigers’s dry sense of humour to flourish – and inspired him on Monday to play well beyond last bus time.

Anyone who heard Stigers in the summer knows that his repertoire spans his old pop hits, more recent singer-songwriter material, original songs and standards from the Great American Songbook. Only at a Stigers gig would you hear the sublime and rarely sung Rodgers and Hart ballad You Are Too Beautiful followed by the US biker drama Sons of Anarchy’s hard rock theme tune, on which Scholfield unleashed his inner Jimi Hendrix to memorable effect.

And the variety doesn’t end there: with his vocals, two saxes and acoustic guitar, plus Scholfield’s electric guitar, there is a rich palette of sounds for Stigers to work with. Consistent throughout, however, were his energy; his gutsy, emotionally honest and utterly mesmerising singing and the rapport between two like-minded, top-notch musicians. If you don’t catch them this week, it surely can’t be long until they’re back …

First published in The Scotsman on Wednesday, December 5th

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Cape Town International Jazz Festival-25 March

February 23 2011 at 10:17am


THE LATEST artist announcement of performers destined for Cape Town International Jazz Festival stages on March 25 and 26 at the CTICC should offer a little something for most punters.

In addition to ensuring the choice of listening to 40 bands on five stages, the festival’s organisers have put together four concept bands specifically assembled for the event.

A Tribute to Oscar Peterson will feature pianist Jack van Poll, globetrotting guitarist James Scholfield and Dutch bassist Hein van Geyn.

Opting for a piano-guitar-bass format that resembles the definitive Oscar Peterson-Ray Brown-Herb Ellis trio, the three will dig deep into the late Canadian pianist’s swinging repertoire. MORE………