Little could please jazz lovers more than the pick of classic jazz by Duke Ellington and the artists he collaborated with, brought to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival by band leader and drummer Ken Mathieson and a stellar line up of musicians.
Take the A Train - created by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn when the pair began working together in New York City in 1941- started the show off with a brisk tempo.
Strayhorn gave Ellington many of his most evocative pieces. Another piece Snibor provided a more laconic tone punctuated by trombone and clarinet and the ripples of the piano played by Paul Harrison and the grisly baritone sound of Martin Foster's saxophone. Creating a magnificent eeriness the instrumentalists then drew the piece to a close each playing a single note in canon.
The deep tones of the bass instruments complemented the delicate lyricism of the piano in Pelican Drag which sounded like the score to a Maigret mystery style scene as the detective glided though dark streets, all smoke and mirrors.
A raucous trumpet and a strident saxophone gave us the let's-get-up-and-dance tune Doing the Crazy Walking highlighting the energetic Charleston style arm and leg swing dance of the twenties.
Happy Go Lucky Locomotive gave a real sense of a goods train trundling its way through the countryside in the still of the night then slowly drawing to a halt.
Dick Lee on soprano sax as Juliet and Stuart Forbes on tenor sax as Romeo played a heart rending and technically accomplished duet from Billy Strayhorn's Shakespeare Suite. first recorded on the album "Sweet Thunder" in 1957.
Played Sunday 14th July