All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

289

Andreas Varady / David Lyttle: Questions

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Andreas Varady co-leads Questions, his lively and hugely enjoyable debut, with 26 year-old, Northern Irish drummer David Lyttle. Lyttle has plenty of experience for his age: he's one of Ireland's most active and most respected jazz musicians and bandleaders, while Varady is much less experienced—but, then, he is only 13 years old.

Varady, born in Slovakia but now based in Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, is definitely the star of this album. He plays with confidence, skill, obvious enjoyment and a genuine connection to the music. Lyttle brings a wealth of experience in folk music as well as jazz to his relaxed but swinging drumming. The duo is joined by Michael Janisch, an exceptional double-bassist, and Bandi Varady, Andreas' father, who plays rhythm guitar with verve. The musicians play with enthusiasm, and with an understanding that belies the fact that they had played together as a quartet only once before the recording session.

Varady and Lyttle each contribute two original compositions. Varady's "Blues for Edward" is an up-tempo blues, a little reminiscent of Kenny Burrell's style. The young guitarist's playing on the tune is especially fluid and joyful. His "A Day in New York" has more of a George Benson feel to it, with Varady delivering some lovely chordal playing. Lyttle's "True Story" is a relaxed reggae-style number, with Lyttle and Janish creating a warm and engaging rhythm. "Swing Thing," Lyttle's second contribution, is a faster, more urgent tune, with a hint of bop.

The selection of covers helps to demonstrate the quartet's command of a range of styles and offers some intriguing arrangements. John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" is the most interesting: it's taken at a slow and graceful tempo, and opens with a delightful bass and guitar duet from Janisch and Varady. Benson's arrangement of Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow Of Your Smile" is a Varady solo performance, surprisingly mature and controlled for so young a player, and rather beautiful. The too-brief version of Django Reinhardt's "Festival 48" features Andreas and Bandi on acoustic guitars, with both players giving a lovely high-octane performance, driving the tune along at breakneck speed without losing melody or rhythm.

Questions is a delight: fun, accessible, unpretentious and positive. The quartet of musicians is outstanding. Lyttle and Varady are already accomplished players and represent an emerging Irish jazz scene of tremendous potential—hopefully this is just the beginning of two stellar jazz careers.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Why Not CD/LP/Track Review
Why Not
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Together CD/LP/Track Review
Together
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review
Presence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Blood CD/LP/Track Review
Blood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read "Nightports" CD/LP/Track Review Nightports
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "What What" CD/LP/Track Review What What
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Yo Soy La Tradicion" CD/LP/Track Review Yo Soy La Tradicion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 11, 2018
Read "Deuce" CD/LP/Track Review Deuce
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "Along The Way" CD/LP/Track Review Along The Way
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Wheelhouse" CD/LP/Track Review Wheelhouse
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 14, 2018