Ebullient quartet ensures JJ's has a good time
"HAVE a good time," exclaimed Linley Hamilton in JJ Smyth's last Sunday night. As an exhortation it was unnecessary, since everyone was already having a ball. In fact, it was the name of a tune by Paul Simon, and the quartet went on to play it in ebullient style.
The occasion was the launch of a new CD by the Belfast trumpeter with Johnny Taylor (piano), Dan Bodwell (bass) and Dominic Mullen (drums). Alternating between trumpet and flugelhorn, Hamilton led the quartet in a variety of contrasting numbers, including Vincent Youmans' Without a Song, Abbey Lincoln's Throw It Away and Woody Shaw's Rosewood.
This Can't Be Love, with a witty, incongruous quote from The Flintstones, was followed by a brooding Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?. The romantic mood, which continued with My Heart's Desire, gave way to a Latin-tinged Happy People, then returned for an encore, My Romance.
The rapport between trumpet/ flugelhorn and piano was remarkable, while bass and drums propelled the group forward without ever seeking to dominate it.
Most of the tunes they played on Sunday night are on the new CD, which is called Taylor Made After Johnny. Linley Hamilton is full of praise for the gifted British pianist/arranger, whose reputation is growing fast since he moved to Dublin. The album, on Lyte Records, is a must for any collection, and was selling very well in JJ's. For those who were not there, it is available on www.lyterecords.com.
Linley Hamilton returns to Dublin next Thursday night as part of a backing group for Cormac Kenevey (vocals) in the John Field Room. Jim Doherty and Brendan Doyle play a Friday lunchtime concert in the same venue.