Wednesday 22 November 2017

Full house sees DCJO live up to expectations

Grainne Farren

IT was good to see a full house in the National Concert Hall for the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra last Sunday night. The only problem was the poor sound balance.

Apart from that, the DCJO lived up to expectations. The programme included original compositions by band members Alex Mathias (tenor sax), Paul Frost (trombone) and Hugh Buckley (guitar), all beautifully arranged. In the case of Buckley's When Wes Was, the arrangement was by fellow-guitarist Dave O'Rourke, Dublin's major gift to the New York jazz scene.

Three guest singers contributed three numbers each, but only one, Christine Tobin, has what it takes to sing with a big band. She has an effortlessly powerful voice, impeccable diction and an innate sense of swing.

David Linx is not a big-band vocalist, and his performance was nowhere near the standard of his appearance in Cork last October. It was impossible to make out the words of his songs. Mary Coughlan fared better, in that respect, pleasing her fans with the ever-popular Seduced and Delaney's Gone Back on the Wine.

God Bless the Child, which was dedicated to Darren Lloyd, a bass-player who died young, featured a moving solo by Karl Ronan. In the up-tempo Tall Cotton Jim Clark's plunger mute was a delight.

The DCJO plays in the Button Factory, on the first Monday of every month.

Tonight the Alex Mathias Quartet plays Coltrane in JJ Smyth's, and on Tuesday night Honor Heffernan and Jim Doherty return to the John Field Room to celebrate eight years of their Old-Fashioned show.

Sunday Independent

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