Jazz: Emilie Conway splendid in the John Field Room
Emilie Conway gets better all the time. Her lunchtime appearance in the John Field Room last Wednesday found her in splendid voice, with a relaxed stage presence and no sign of her early diffidence. Johnny Taylor (piano), Damian Evans (bass) and Dominic Mullan (drums) backed her in a concert called Jazz on a Summer's Day. The title was inspired by the famous film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.
The programme was full of light and shade, with songs ranging from Vernon Duke's Taking a Chance on Love to Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where the Time Goes? A vocalese introduction to My Shining Hour showed her mastery of tricky intervals. In an Alec Wilder tune, Is it Always Like This? she began very softly before building up the emotion and letting the power of her voice ring out.
Hugh Buckley and Phil Robson (guitars) will play together in JJ Smyth's on Thursday night. Robson, from Derby, is Christine Tobin's regular accompanist as well as being a soloist and composer in his own right. Influenced by such diverse guitarists as Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino and Jim Hall, he has forged his own musical identity, leading trios, quartets.
The following night, Friday, Hugh rejoins Nigel Clark for a concert in the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall. They will be launching their CD The Day of the Duo (reviewed last week).
Next Sunday Susannah de Wrixon heads for Waterford, to sing in the Garter Lane Arts Centre with Jim Doherty on piano. The programme will feature standards from the American songbook.