A fresh and exciting sound from the nu-jazz collective.
If there was ever a group to best exemplify the buzz and excitement around the young Scottish jazz scene, Corto Alto would appropriately fit that label. Born out of the bedroom of band leader and trombonist Liam Shortall in Glasgow, the nu jazz collective are a flurry of big horn sounds, jazz funk guitar grooves, and neo soul vocals thanks to a feature from singer Kitti.
Opening their set with the thumping Zing, named after the guitarist’s favourite catchphrase, a large and loud opener, which maybe came as a surprise for some of the audience in the Jazz Bar basement. Posing the question to the audience “Have any of you ever been to Glasgow?” with a rye smile on his face, Shortall seemed fully aware of the differences between the bustling late night Glasgow jazz scene to an 8:30 slot at EJBF.
Switching effortlessly to the soft soul tracks of the yet released oooooh and then to Ortrolado, without the brash saxophone sound of Harry Weir, and drums of Graham Costello, Saxophonist Mateusz Sobieski took full control, and shone through the entire show, including a powerhouse cover of the challenging Confessions by BADBADNOTGOOD.
Corto Alto’s strengths shone through their variety of genres, with the highlight of the show coming with the appearance of Glasgow-based vocalist Kitti featuring on the latest release from the band Bitter. An edgy and wonderful tone to her voice, supplied with a neo soul backdrop by the band, was a brilliant demonstration of the power of the full sound from the group.
You can catch Liam Shortall in numerous other performances throughout the Festival, including Graham Costello’s STRATA, AKU, PS Jazz Sextet and Orion All-Stars.
Corto Alto’s music is available on Bandcamp at the following link
By Iain Leggat