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Sligo Jazz Project 2013: Days 1-3

Ian Patterson By

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Pianist Kenny Werner, bassist John Goldsby and drummer John Riley closed the evening with an exquisite demonstration of the art of the trio. Standards like "With a Song in my Heart" and "In Your Own Sweet Way" were treated with utter sincerity. Werner originals such as "Yago" and the title track from Balloons (Half Note Records, 2011) simmered evocatively in a set that was never less than absorbing.

For reasons unknown Werner's name has never quite made the same banner headlines as pianists Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson or Chick Corea, but he surely belongs in that company. Werner—a former teacher of pianist Brad Mehldau—paid tribute to trumpeter Kenny Wheeler in a vibrant song entitled "Free Wheelin.'" Peppering his playing with quotations, Werner's composition was perhaps inspired by the melodic flair for which Wheeler is renowned.

A heartfelt rendition of pianist Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" gave SJP students a fine window onto two-handed voicings and right-left hand integration on an extended solo introduction. Riley's brushes and Goldsby soft textures lent sympathetic support. The encore was Miles Davis' tune "Nardis," a composition most commonly associated with pianist Bill Evans—another piano legend with whom Werner bears favorable comparison. Flowing lyricism gave way to a dancing Latin rhythm that dissipated into a feathery conclusion.

Moxie/The Olllam/Jam session: Source Sligo

There were late night gigs upstairs in Source Sligo, with local boys Moxie—another utterly infectious young Irish band—putting a fresh twist on traditional Irish music. They were followed by the Olllam. With the jazz students in the downstairs restaurant playing standards there were times when the music from both floors clashed a little, but on the whole the night had a celebratory feel. A few more nights like these and the tourist tea- towels and paper weights will soon bear the name of the Sligo Jazz Project.

Coming up in SJP Days 4-6: Tony Miceli Quartet; Kenny Werner public talk on "Effortless Mastery"; The Dublin City Jazz Orchestra; David Lyttle's Interlude; SJP All- Stars; Nigel Mooney Band; The SJP Big Bash! Participants Ensemble Concert; Tropicana Musica.

Photo Credit

Pages 1,6: Aminah Hughes
All other photos: Ian Patterson

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