Concert review: Tim Kliphuis Trio in Rothesay

The Tim Kliphuis Trio played at Rothesay Joint Campus on Friday, November 1. (Photo credit: Andrew Surridge)
The Tim Kliphuis Trio played at Rothesay Joint Campus on Friday, November 1. (Photo credit: Andrew Surridge)

Tim Kilphuis’s jazz violin playing is in high demand throughout Britain and Europe - and judging from his performance on Bute this week, it’s not hard to see why.

The visit to Rothesay by Kliphuis and his Trio, with Roy Percy on bass and Nigel Clark on guitar, had been much anticipated by those in the audience who remembered the Dutchman’s previous appearance at a Bute Arts Society concert, four years ago.

And they, and those seeing the trio play live for the first time, were not to be disappointed, as a tremendous level of musicianship was combined with energy, wit, warmth and not a little passion to create a heady brew of post-Halloween entertainment.

Sadly, commitments elsewhere meant we missed the first half of the concert, but from the comments overheard around the interval wine and nibbles it was clear the trio had already made their mark.

The programme promised “world renowned beautiful arrangements” and “mesmerising improvisations”, and the trio obliged in style - though not, despite Kliphuis’s well-established reputation, exclusively in the jazz genre, with Vivaldi, Strauss and a beautifully simple arrangement of Balulalow from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols more than satisfying those seeking a little more than ‘just jazz’.

That said, Kliphuis’s jazz pedigree - many of his followers regard him as the natural heir to Stéphane Grappelli - was undoubtedly the biggest draw for Friday’s audience, and the trio’s interpretations of Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and Sonny Rollins had the room utterly mesmerised, and in no doubt that the ‘international musician’ prize given to Kliphuis at the recent Scottish Jazz Awards, and presented on Friday by awards judge and Isle of Bute Jazz Festival chair Tim Saul, was thoroughly deserved.