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Limerick Post, August 2015 – Chuck Rainey/DeLorean Suite
Irish Times June 19 2015, The TICKET Festival Guide
MUSIC: SLIGO JAZZ PROJECT
Sligo, July 21st-26th, sligojazz.ie
Sligo Jazz turns 10 with a cracking line-up of maestros, virtuosos and top players. These include highly regarded bass player Chuck Rainey, Tunisian oud kingpin Dhafer Youssef, sax legend Ernie Watts, Liane Carroll, supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen and the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra. Expect performances, masterclasses and workshops all week.
SLIGO JAZZ FESTIVAL Preview June 2015 on wildatlanticway.com
JAZZWISE MAGAZINE, MAY 2015
Spike Sligo: Pigfoot
Fifth on Teeling, Sligo, 11.30pm, €10 – also Saturday & Sunday
A festival dedicated to the memory of comedic genius and one-time jazz musician Spike Milligan would not be complete without a musical element. The Sligo Jazz Project have put together an excellent late-night festival club that kicks off tonight with a first Irish appearance by the suitably zany Pigfoot, whose trumpeter Chris Batchelor, tubist Oren Marshall, pianist Liam Noble and drummer Paul Clarvis refract Milligan’s beloved ‘trad’ jazz through a decidedly contemporary lens.
The Model, Sligo Also Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin on Sunday
Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala was the creative force behind the groundbreaking Trio Töykeät but since 2008 he’s been going it alone, defying the genre-police with his own classical-meets-jazz compositions. Fleet of finger and gleeful of intent, with a wide conception of what improvised piano can be, Rantala is the sort of player that makes every jaw in the room drop to the floor.
Sunday Independent Published 27/07/2014
It ain’t what you play, it’s the way that you play it
GRIPPING CONCERT: Alan Broadbent’s playing held the audience riveted
The Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, was the setting for Alan Broadbent’s concert last Wednesday night. The New Zealand-American pianist, principal piano tutor at this year’s Sligo Jazz Project summer school, played the first half entirely solo.
It was a perfect illustration of the old saying “it ain’t what you play, it’s the way that you play it”. Even well-worn standards like Softly as in a Morning Sunrise were utterly transformed, sounding fresh and new. Broadbent paid tribute to Miles Davis with a lyrical Blue in Green, reworked Charlie Parker’s My Little Suede Shoes, did a crisp and springy version of the Sonny Rollins classic Oleo. His touch, his use of dynamics, his contrasting moods and tempos, all held the audience riveted. The remarkable thing was not only the richness of his ideas but the conciseness with which he expressed them. He said more in a few minutes than some musicians get around to in half an hour.
In the second half, the pianist played the more modest role of accompanist, providing supportive backing for singer Judy Niemack. An interesting selection of songs, including vocal versions of tunes by Bill Evans, Tadd Dameron and Thelonious Monk, set off the purity and flexibility of her voice. Her style was polished, her timing and diction impeccable, yet there was something missing: the vital ingredient of emotion. This lack of feeling made the numbers sound like clever vocal exercises rather than songs. Alan Broadbent played one last piano solo, a classically-tinged Lonely Woman, included as a tribute to bass-player Charlie Haden, who died recently.
Today is the last day of the Sligo Festival, featuring the summer school students in the SJP Big Bash, and a Wrap Party with African music by Tropicana Musica.
Back in Dublin, the Richie Buckley Quintet plays in JJ Smyth’s this afternoon, and the Phil Ware Trio can be heard in the same venue on Thursday night.
– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/it-aint-what-you-play-its-the-way-that-you-play-it-30459550.html#sthash.Bw0OZcgz.dpuf
Irish Times July 18 2013
IRISH TIMES 17 JULY 2012
Phronesis will also be featuring at one of the country’s most interesting musical enterprises next week – the Sligo Jazz Project. This turns the west of Ireland town into one big jazz summer school, where advanced players and those just getting to grips with the canon can take part in masterclasses with players of exceptional, international calibre. The classes are accompanied by a series of concerts that any city or festival would be happy to host – that Eddie Lee manages to keep this festival happening every year in Sligo is testament to how much the players enjoy it, how much the students and punters get from it, and perhaps how persuasive a man Mr Lee is.This year’s line-up features Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and his Masters of Percussion, in concert on Monday, followed by Phronesis on Tuesday, New York trombonist Marshall Gilkes on Wednesday, and Nigerian guitarist Femi Temowo on Thursday. Kenny Wheeler was due to participate but ill health means he won’t be there in person, so pianist John Taylor will be delivering a musical tribute to Wheeler in concert on Friday instead. Saturday night sees them send off the project in style with an ensemble concert, led by US bassist Rufus Reid.
ALL 15 members of the Sligo Jazz Project teaching faculty got together in various combinations for the last night of the festival/summer school, last Saturday July 23. The result was a fascinating concert.
John Taylor (piano) got things off to a punchy start with the aid of Alec Dankworth (double bass) and John Riley (drums). For the second number, Dankworth was replaced by Michael Manring (electric bass), while Andreas Oberg (guitar), sounding a bit like John Scofield, was the main soloist.
Marshall Gilkes (trombone) was a revelation. Playing in a quintet with Jean Toussaint (tenor sax), Phil Ware (piano), Dankworth (double bass) and David Lyttle (drums), he combined beautifully with the tenor player in a kind of weaving duet.
Later, backed only by Steve Davis on drums, Gilkes played Thelonious Monk’s ‘We See’, confirming the impression that he is the most exciting trombonist since JJ Johnson.
Originally from the United States, Gilkes now lives in Germany and performs with the WDR Big Band.
Cleveland Watkiss has a big, wide-ranging voice that sounds particularly pleasing in the lower register. His wordless vocal acrobatics were unaccompanied except for his own vocal backing track.
Another memorable moment came when Matthew Halpin (tenor sax) teamed up with Ware, Dankworth and Davis for Ellington’s ‘Sophisticated Lady’. Linley Hamilton (flugelhorn), Mike Nielsen (acoustic guitar) and Paul Clarvis (drums) joined Ware to play Abbey Lincoln’s ‘Throw it Away’. Another highlight was ‘It never entered my Mind’ by Nielsen, Dankworth and Clarvis.
At the end, 11 of the musicians got together for a loosely-structured jam session, full of fire and imagination, with a tremendous piano solo by Taylor. With teachers like these, the Sligo Jazz Project students must have learnt a lot.
The Kilkenny Arts Festival begins this Friday, when the trioVD from the UK appear in the Set Theatre. In Dublin, also on Friday the Boylan Buckley Evans Trio plays a lunchtime gig in the National Concert Hall’s John Field Room.
– Grainne Farren, Sunday Independent 31 july 2011.