If band-leader and violinist Bernadette Kellermann hadn’t confessed, the jazz festival audience wouldn’t necessarily have guessed that this was just the band’s second gig ever. As a Traditional Music graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, just last year, and member of both contemporary folk trio Farrland and jazz collective Fat-Suit, Kellerman brought a variety of influences to the compositions she shared with the packed house tonight.
Kellermann’s youthful bandmates have likewise already made significant mark on the Scottish music scene, indeed are all playing in various bands at this year’s Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. With Fergus McCreadie on piano, Mark Hendry on double bass, and Graham Costello on drums, their jazz sensibility fitted well with Kellermann’s apparent strengths in melodic avant-folk and experimentalism.
The friendly intimacy of the basement Jazz Bar felt ideal for an emerging band presenting, at times, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe – level of genre crossing and experimentation. The interesting mix of traditional-style folk melodies, jazz harmonisation, Steve Reichian repetition and Kellermann’s timbral experimentation made one curious about what future directions her music might take.
Occasionally it seemed as though the volume of Kellermann’s violin was a little swamped by the louder instruments, however doubtless such minor issues will resolve with further gig experience. Certainly tonight this was not an issue at all in the more highly worked up pieces, such as the beautiful, lyrical folk-jazz tune, Incarnadine.