Music review: Sophie Bancroft & Louis Durra Trio
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Sophie Bancroft & Louis Durra Trio at The Jazz Bar (Venue 57), reviewed by Jim Gilchrist
“I am a housewife / I talk to kitchen walls” ain’t the most riveting opening lyric with which to kick off a performance. Things, one supposed, could only get better, which they did. Scots singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft’s style sashays easily between the bluesy fluidity one might expect from a member of the Bancroft jazz clan, and a folkier, acoustic guitar-accompanied approach.
Here, she exercised both in the company of the excellent Berlin-based LA pianist Louis Durra, a highly imaginative player with an anarchic way with melody. They were reinforced by the sterling rhythm pairing of drummer Chris Wallace and double bassist Euan Burton, the trio turning over nicely in that opening domestic meditation of Bird of Paradise, before shifting into the slinkier Too Darn Blue.
Bancroft’s voice could have been projected more in the mix, but was at its most effective in Too Darn Blue or the sassy swing of Cruel or Just Kind and Supersize Me, the band stepping out in style alongside her. Of her folkier numbers, Streets of Summer fell a bit flat, although Calgary Bay was evoked in tones of languid regret and a song for her daughter proved wistful, almost country-ish over just guitar and piano.
Durra and company struck out in inventive style in instrumentals such as the fast-travelling Line for Sam or, exercising Durra’s proclivity for ranging well beyond customary jazz repertoire, a number by DJ Yasmin, in which staccato piano phrases evolved into rolling chimes. There was much creative brush work from Wallace and some strolling bass excursions from Burton, while a version of Alanis Morissette’s All I Really Want took glorious liberties with the melody before working up a climactic riff.
Bancroft’s closing number, I Carried Your Heart, saw her in intriguing territory between jazz ballad and warm-hearted Scots song, closing a perhaps unlikely sounding but oddly satisfying gig.
MORE INFO: Sophie Bancroft & Louis Durra Trio at The Jazz Bar (Venue 57), 18th August only
Originally published in The Scotsman