Sligo Jazz Project 2013: Days 4-6
Pianist Kenny Werner and drummer John Riley sat in on several numbers but it wasn't until the introduction of saxophonist Jean Toussaint on an arrangement of a tune by guitarist Hugh Buckley that the blues came to the fore. Even on original compositions the big, brassy arrangements conferred an air of nostalgia. A short, punchy take on saxophonist John Coltrane's "Impressions" closed the first set with greater momentum than the music that had preceded it.
The second half of the show offered greater variety. Singer Ian Shaw was superb, breathing new lifeand no little humorinto the old chestnut "I Thought about You." Unpredictable and endlessly inventive, Shaw combined jazz and soul on a three- part Burt Bacharach/Hal David suite, the centerpiece of which, "Alfie," Shaw had previously recorded with pianist Cedar Walton on In a New York Minute (Milestone, 1999).
Trombonist Marshall Gilkesno stranger to big band settings through his work in Maria Schneider's Orchestra and the WDR big bandbrought a slightly more contemporary edge to the evening with several original tunes. Gilkes is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest post J.J. Johnson trombonists and featured on his own compositions "Down Time," "Edenderry," and the firey "Puddle Jumping" where he slipped free of the tethers with some wonderfully agile playing. An enjoyable evening was rounded off by a stonking version of Pinetop Sparks 1935 tune "Every Day I Have the Blues." Singer/guitarist Nigel Mooney played Bobby King to the DCJO's Count Basie band in a swinging end to the program.
David Lyttle & Interlude
Over at the The Glasshouse Hotel in the ballroom of the Swan Suite, drummer David Lyttle and his project Interlude served up steady grooves that blended jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul. It was something of a family affair with Lyttle's mother Anne and sister Rhea on vocals. Rapper Homecut brought an urban edge to songs from Lyttle's neo-soul delight Interlude (Lyte Records, 2012) and another busy night at SJP ended with a vibrant jam session for those with the energy left to jamor merely listen.
Day 5: John Goldsby: A history of the double bass
Day five of SJP saw bassist John Goldsby present a linear history of the bass in jazz, playing video and audio clips, and analyzing the styles of Wellman Bruad, Jimmy Blanton, Eddie Safranski, Walter Page, Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers, Israel Crosby Ray Brown up to Charles Mingus. Riley also showed an old clip of Thelma Terry, a bassist who started out in Chicago in the 1920s and who was one of very few women to lead an all-male band, The Playboys, which, incidentally, included drummer Gene Krupa. Terry disabanded The Playboys in 1929, tired of showbiz and, according to the later testament of her family, the insubordination and sexual harassment she had to contend with from the band members.
Tony Miceli Quartet
At the Glass House Hotel, vibraphonist Tony Miceli's quartet gave a wonderful lunchtime concert in tribute to the Modern Jazz Quartet. Featuring pianist Phil Ware, bassist Dave Redmond and drummer John Daly, the quartet visited standards such as "Green Dolphin Street," "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," and the MJQ's "Jasmine Tree." Miceli paid dancing tribute to pianist/composer Vince Guaraldi, followed by a gorgeous rendition of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa- Lobos' suite "Bachiana Brasilieras."
So delicate was the quartet's voice on the Villa-Lobos number that it was possible to hear someone in the audience munching a sandwich. Applause would have come as an intrusion, but at the end, the ovation that greeted a riveting performance spoke volumes for the quality of the concert as a whole.
Kenny Werner Talk: Effortless Mastery