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).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "88" CD/LP/Track Review 88
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Love For Sale" CD/LP/Track Review Love For Sale
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Energy - Saul Losada" CD/LP/Track Review Energy - Saul Losada
by Paul Naser
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!