Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » The Paul Dunlea Group: bi-polAr

5

The Paul Dunlea Group: bi-polAr

By

Sign in to view read count
The Paul Dunlea Group: bi-polAr
Ireland's jazz scene may not yet count for much on the international stage, but it's producing players and writers of undoubted talent. On the evidence of bi-polAr, trombonist Paul Dunlea can be added to that growing roster, especially for lovers of the funkier end of the jazz spectrum.

Based in Cork, Dunlea formed the Paul Dunlea Group in 2011. bi-polAr is Dunlea's debut album as leader, but he's by no means a newcomer, having worked as a musician or arranger with leading Americans such as saxophonist Bobby Watson and bassist Kyle Eastwood, and with Irish performers like singer Mick Flannery, the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra and the Cork City Jazz Band.

Having composed all of bi-polAr's tunes, Dunlea's particular strength as a writer lies in his ability to combine strong, often rather romantic, melodies with tight grooves. However, this album's strongest tune, the melancholy "The Honeymoon Is Over," lacks these grooves, instead replacing them with Danny Healy's beautifully judged flugelhorn solo and some harmonically engaging interplay between Dunlea and soprano saxophonist Nick Roth. The melody/groove combo gives "Bi-polAr" an instantly engaging, funky, rhythm, courtesy of bass guitarist Eoin Walsh and drummer Davie Ryan, that's picked up and extended by the horn players before pianist Phillip Collins and Ryan break off for a '70s style Fender Rhodes and drum duet. The combo gives "Twists And Turns" a similar feel, this time led by Dunlea's fruity trombone and Collins' deft piano work.

"Sightly," (as it's called on the album insert, although it's "Slightly" on the back cover) meanders in an unfocussed fashion and represents the album's only drop in quality. The standard is quickly regained on the short but groovy "Fused" and the up-tempo "Throwback," which features Michael Buckley's alto flute solo and closes the album in fine, danceable, style. The running time is fairly short by contemporary standards at around 38 minutes, but not a second is wasted. Sporting a great cover design, bi-polAr is another indication of the talents at work in the Irish scene, and helps to establish Dunlea's reputation within that scene.

Track Listing

The Honeymoon Is Over; Bi-polAr; Twists And Turns; Sightly; Fused; Throwback.

Personnel

Paul Dunlea
trombone

Paul Dunlea: trombone; Danny Healy: trumpet, flugelhorn; Nick Roth: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Phillip Collins: piano, Fender Rhodes; Eoin Walsh: bass; Davie Ryan: drums; Michael Buckley: alto flute (6).

Album information

Title: bi-polAr | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Being
Chris Rottmayer
Town of Two Faces
The Choir Invisible with Charlotte Greve, Vinnie...
They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday
Paul R. Harding / Michael Bisio / Juma Sultan
Eagle's Point
Chris Potter

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.