David Patrick Octet

The Rite of Spring


Never let it be said that jazz musicians in Scotland lack ambition. Whether it is the multi-media work of the Bancroft brothers, the ambitious suites Tommy Smith has created throughout his career, or trombonist Chris Grieve essaying the back catalogue of Led Zeppelin, boldness is everywhere.

Pianist Patrick’s small group version of Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece fits right into that canon, and somewhere near the top of the list. Originally performed to mark the centenary of the premiere of one of the most significant compositions of the last century, Patrick’s work is more faithful that, say, Smith’s reworking of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, but not as re-creative as Stu Brown’s Twisted Toons project of the cartoon soundtracks of Raymond Scott, with which it perhaps shares more of a sound palette than you might expect.

As his notes make clear, Patrick has immersed himself in the work to make his version, which, while clearly lacking the grandeur of orchestration, substitutes rich colours from the music Stravinsky did much to inspire, with a trio of reedsmen – Sam Coombes, Brian Molley, and Calum Robertson – particularly to the fore.

This is a Rite that rewards those whose love is of the original work as much as it will delight jazz fans.

Keith Bruce