Sat in the dark, coolly lit basement bar, listening to some jazz and propping up the bar, it’s strange to think it’s only lunchtime. I can’t help but feel I should be drinking something a little stronger than my tipple of choice: a cup of tea.
The twist to this jazz session is the projected moving images of the Scottish Highlands behind the two performers, who play a mixture of standards and original pieces. You may associate jazz more with smoky New York clubs rather than the Highlands, but the visuals oddly suit the relaxed mood with some superb scenic views. Sadly, the imagery doesn’t always correlate to the specific places that inspired the original pieces; rather, it acts as an overall impression.
Our two performers, Ian Millar (saxophone) and Dominic Spencer (keyboard) aren’t technically the best players but are always a tight pair, playing with plenty of enthusiasm. Millar deftly switches from alto to soprano saxophone, sensitively playing fluid melodies, albeit with a slightly breathy tone, whilst Spencer’s keyboard-playing is precise and secure.
The performance would benefit from the addition of bass and drums to enhance the textures of the music. A greater variety of repertoire would also be welcome – as it is, the performance stuck stoically to the relaxed smooth side of jazz, without the sultry or livelier ends of the spectrum. Still, if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Fringe, Jazz Lunchtime is perfect for a lazy afternoon.