5

The Paul Dunlea Group: bi-polAr

Bruce Lindsay 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; 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).

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


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Seifert" CD/LP/Track Review Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.