Swing presented their 37th performance at the annual Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, this time as Swing 2018 and joined by guest artist saxophonist John Burgess, all celebrating the music and influence of the guitarist Django Reinhardt.
Compere and rhythm guitarist John Russell told how the outbreak of World War Two led to Belgium born Reinhardt's abrupt shift from the London Jazz club scene and his collaboration with the violinist Stephane Grappelli.
By going to Paris Reinhardt had traveled in the wrong direction putting himself in danger of being swept up in the persecution of gypsies by Hitler who also regarded jazz as a subversive influence.
However Reinhardt survived and in the process provided us with such classics as the jaunty Belleville and Nuage which became the unofficial French liberation song at the end of the war. Russell told us how the song was so popular Reinhardt was, at one concert, asked to play it three times in a row. Here its main melodies were passed seamlessly and expertly between MacColl on guitar and Burgess on clarinet and made for deeply satisfying listening for this contemporary Edinburgh audience
With typical self deprecating humour Russell stated he should be nominated for the Duke of Edinburgh award for his unbroken attendance at the Jazz Festival and was apologetic about singing as many as two songs. But the audience were happy to hear his soft dulcet tones twice particularly in the atmospheric nature song Moonlight in Vermont.
A heart warming finale came with "I'll See You in My Dreams" showing that none of this vintage line up had lost any of its dexterity.