20TH JUNE 2004


Jazz CD of the week

Kevin MacKenzie's Vital Signs, Another New Horizon

Dave Gelly

Sunday June 20, 2004

The Observer

Kevin MacKenzie's Vital Signs

Another New Horizon

(Caber 032)

The day is surely coming when someone will write a thesis on why the Scots excel at jazz. There seems to be no end to the original, assertive and effortlessly engaging music being made north of the border at present. Mackenzie is a guitarist of impeccable jazz credentials who also plays Scottish traditional music. Vital Signs is the band in which he unites the two; the nine musicians include two fiddlers and a concertina player. The result is spirited, rich and surprisingly funky, with a powerful rhythmic undertow generated by the bass and drums of Tom Lyne and Tom Bancroft. In the slower pieces, fiddlers Aidan O'Rourke and Chris Stout are particularly effective, and a kind of subdued melancholy hovers around the edges of the music.



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