Fresh spin on time-honoured numbers bursts with diversity and originality
Bill Carrothers: Joy Spring (Pirouet)
Carrothers (piano), Drew Gress (bass), Bill Stewart (drums).
AS the title suggests, this is a tribute to the late Clifford Brown, whose legacy endures despite his early death in 1956. Five of the 11 tunes were composed by the trumpeter himself; others are by Richie Powell, Duke Jordan, Benny Golson and Victor Young.
Carrothers -- a frequent visitor to Ireland -- brings a fresh approach to these time-honoured numbers. In fact, the title tune is completely reinvented, slowed down and turned around.
Others, like Gerkin for Perkin, Daahoud and Tiny Capers, get a brisker treatment, while his spare piano solo brings out the elegiac mood of Golson's I Remember Clifford. Diversity and creativity are the keywords throughout, with strong contributions from Gress and Stewart. Bill Carrothers will be appearing at the Cork Jazz Festival in October.
Alex Mathias Quartet:
Goin' Roamin' (No label)
Mathias (tenor sax), Johnny Taylor (piano), James Little (electric bass), Dominic Mullan (drums).
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Alex Mathias is undoubtedly a talented musician with great potential. His recent work with the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, as well as a trio tribute to Sonny Rollins, showed his ability to play sound, straight-ahead tenor sax.
However, this debut CD is not Mathias at his best. The tunes are all his own compositions, and they haven't enough originality.
London-born Johnny Taylor (not to be confused with the more famous English pianist John Taylor) is the most dynamic piano player to burst upon the Irish scene since Phil Ware, but you'd never guess it from his reined-in performance here.
Johnny Taylor can be heard live on Sunday afternoons from 3pm at the Cafe Novo, Harry Street, beside the Westbury Hotel, with Kristina Glasnovic (vocals) and Dave Redmond (double bass).