Tuesday 15 October 2019

Lloyd's right at home with rhythm

Grainne Farren

Greg Lloyd: Long Way Home (GLG)

Greg Lloyd (piano), Dave Redmond (bass), Kevin Brady (drums), Eddie McGinn (percussion).

Australian-born Greg Lloyd, now based in Ireland, has travelled the world soaking up musical influences. The result is an irresistible sense of rhythm, heard especially in a lilting medley by El Anka, a composer of Chaabi music from Algeria. The two tunes of the medley, Soubane Allah Yalatif/Hamdou Lil Allah Mabkash Istiaamar Fi Bledna are tremendously catchy and guaranteed to set hips swaying. The same can be said for the ever-popular Besame Mucho, by the Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velazquez.

These and Lloyd's own compositions get great support from bass, drums and percussion. Since this CD was made, Eddie McGinn has been replaced by an even better percussionist, Frailan Moran from Cuba, who stirred up a storm at the group's concert in the Project Arts Centre in February. The quartet will play in JJ Smyth's on April 22.

Emilie Conway: The Secret of a Rose (Milie)

Emilie Conway (vocals), Johnny Taylor (piano), Dave Fleming (double bass), Dominic Mullan (drums), plus Dave McCune (conga) on one track.

THIS young Irish singer combines a love of melody with a feeling for the nuances of lyrics. Her diction is spot-on at every tempo. She has the kind of straight-ahead style that appeals not only to jazz fans but also to a more mainstream audience. Her well-chosen musicians are second to none when it comes to sensitive backing. At times she sounds a little too cautious, but when she learns to let herself go there'll be no stopping her.

A wide-ranging selection includes Abbey Lincoln's wistful Throw It Away, the humorous classic Twisted by Wardell Gray and Annie Ross, Clifford Brown's Joy Spring, with words by Jon Hendricks, and a beautiful Jobim song in Portuguese, Chovendo na Roseira.

The Emilie Conway quartet will launch the CD at a concert in the John Field room on Wednesday night.

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