Saturday, 25 May 2013

Rooty Ma Toot-y- and a free mystery

Last night I went to the local jazz club- Garioch Jazz in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  The Garioch Jazz Club is approaching it's 30th anniversary and it's the longest continuously running jazz club in Scotland. The club has a very varied programme of events over the year and feature: new bands and familiar ones; traditional ones; local ones; small and large ones. Last night they welcomed back a big band whose last appearance was back in 2003.

The band playing were called 'Rooty Ma Toot'. The 15 piece Big Band is based in Inverness, Scotland and the name means  'looking out my best suit' and were fantastic to listen to.

This is one of the very well known numbers they played last night, although the video was taken at an earlier venue. (The band members were also slightly different last night) This version is much more traditional than many others played last night of tunes from films and shows.

I thought I'd write a little bit about them today, and then pondered about how people write reviews all the time. Mingling aspects of a book review with my music review went something like this....

Very professional the 15 piece Rooty Ma Toot band arranged themselves into the space available in a short time, some sound checks finalising their set up. The first couple of numbers were slightly slow, announced as arrangements of well known tunes. Jazz afficionados would have been quicker at recognising them as different versions of tunes/songs which made it into 1930s- 1960s films, but I'm no expert and sat at times thinking "Do I know this one? Yes. No. Yes. Definitely yes...". The mystery was defintiely set up and the arrangements keep me guessing.

 And that was how the night progressed - a little supposition, a little anticipation, some presumption here and there to solve the mystery of whether or not I knew what they were playing, and was I enjoying the arrangement. The night warmed up beautifully both literally(outside) and musically (the audience inside). The featured guest singer's arrangements of Broadway hits were, again, slightly different but much more like the 'original' versions I'm more familiar with.

There was something nice about that familiar feeling of 'knowing'. The piano player was superb and her couple of vocals were spectacularly funny and entertaining- though I'm not sure I'd ever heard those songs before. Like a novel should be at times. Perhaps not exactly funny if it's a danger-laced mystery but definitely entertaining and a little bit different, is what I'm looking for as a reader.

But I'm not only singling out a few of the band - every single member added their considerable talent to the concert. Sometimes, to me, particular instruments are always background players, as are some secondary characters in a novel and that's exactly how it should be. It's excellent to give them a little 'spot limelight' but they should most definitely make a valuable contribution to the whole rounded experience. It made me hope that my secondary characters make that all too important contribution, but I'll only know that if people tell me they do. 

Going to hear the band play was well worth the time of an evening away from my keyboard. My thanks to Rooty Ma Toot...and to the Garioch Jazz club. 

So that was 'Rooty Ma Toot' but what about that free mystery? 

Since it's the 'end of the month Saturday' it's time for me to do another 'review freebie' competition.

How can you get an ecopy of TOPAZ EYES?

If you love to read and review novels, and regularly post them on your blog, amazon, Goodreads etc why not have a go at winning a review copy of my ancestral mystery 'TOPAZ EYES'?

All you have to do is tweet the following:

I'd desperately like a #free e-copy of TOPAZ EYES by Nancy Jardine @nansjar

 ...then pop your contact/ blog details in the comments box (so that I can make contact with you) Your name will go into my draw, as easy as that!

               *****More than one ecopy is available*****

The offer is available for Sat 25th and Sunday 26th May. I'll choose my winner at midnight 26th May. (UK time)
Good luck.

Topaz Eyes

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.

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