Bollywood Percussionist Adds Beats to Scottish Jazz

 Internationally acclaimed Scottish group the Brian Molley Quartet will be joined by a special guest from India when they appear at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on August 19th and 20th as part of Made in Scotland at the Fringe.

Percussionist and film soundtrack composer-musician Krishna Kishor will be flying in from Chennai to continue a relationship that began in 2017 and has already resulted in the album Intercontinental, which was released in June and has been receiving five-star reviews.

Kishor first worked with Molley’s group when they were touring India in 2017 and they wound up playing a headline concert together for Madras Jazz Festival as part of the British Council’s UK/India season. 

“It was very much a meeting of similar musical minds,” says Molley. “It was also the start of an innovative and productive collaboration despite Krishna and the four of us living on opposite ends of the planet.”

 Molley’s quartet has returned to India to perform again with Kishor on two more tours and Intercontinental was recorded by linking online between Glasgow and Chennai during 2021. 

Glasgow-based Molley, a former Jazzwise magazine One to Watch, formed his quartet in 2012. The group features some of the finest musicians from the UK’s jazz and world music scenes, with pianist Tom Gibbs, double bassist Brodie Jarvie and drummer Stuart Brown joining Molley. 

Their enthusiastically received debut album, Clock was released in 2013 and was described by BBC Radio 3 as ‘a well-crafted and classy debut’ and by London Jazz News as ‘a minor masterpiece…strikingly good.’ Colour and Movement, their follow-up from 2017, was greeted with similar praise. All About Jazz said, ‘Molley’s tone is gorgeous, he never wastes a note’ and The Scotsman described Molley’s tenor saxophone as singing ‘beautifully, sultry and lyrical.’ 

The quartet has been selected three times for the Made in Scotland programme at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and represented the cutting edge in UK jazz at Rochester International Jazz Festival, New York as part of Made in the UK 2015. On the same trip the group played well-received club dates in New York City, drawing enthusiastic responses at Silvana in Harlem and WhyNotJazzRoom in Greenwich Village. 

Their numerous national and international tours include appearances at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester jazz festivals, a live session for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up in 2017 and several trips to tour, collaborate and record in India. The quartet’s first collaboration with Rajasthan’s Asin Langa Ensemble included a nationwide tour of India as well as a reciprocal arrangement that brought the renowned Indian folk musicians to the UK to tour for the first time in 2018. A resulting track, Journeys in Hand, composed by Molley, was selected for Songlines Magazine’s June 2018 covermount CD.

Krishna Kishor, who will also appear with Molley’s group in Dunoon on August 21st, is internationally regarded as a specialist in the traditions, practices and instrumentation of music from his home state of Tamil Nadu in South India. He has performed extensively in India as well as in the US and Europe. His CV includes contributing percussion to the soundtracks of over 100 Bollywood films and he composed the score to Annabelle Sethupathi, the 2021 Indian Tamil language comedy thriller.

“Krishna is an amazing musician,” says Molley. “He always knows instinctively what colours and rhythms to add to the music and working with him is really inspiring. We’re really happy with the way Intercontinental turned out, considering the unconventional recording process, and we can’t wait to welcome Krishna to Scotland to play these concerts in August.”  

Adam Roberts

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