Saturday 24 March 2018

Vocalist with flair for French and a boy wonder on guitar


Grainne Farren

Tina May I Never Told You (33 Records)

Featuring Tina May (vocals), Nikki Iles (piano), Phil Donkin (bass), Stephen Keogh (drums), plus guest Karen Sharp (tenor sax)

Tina May is coming to Dublin on Monday, June 6, when she will sing with the Phil Ware Trio in JJ Smyth's. Her new CD reminds us of this fine British singer's vocal clarity, feeling for lyrics and impeccable diction -- not only in English but in French, too, when she sings Si Tu Partais/If You Go. She excels in vocal versions of tunes composed by jazz musicians, like the fast bop number Beloved. Horace Silver's Peace and Kenny Wheeler's Sweet Dulcinea find her in more reflective mood. Other highlights are Stolen Moments by Oliver Nelson, and the Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash standard, Speak Low.

Tina May has surrounded herself with superb musicians, led by her regular pianist Nikki Iles. Both individually and collectively they enhance every one of the songs.

Andreas Varady & David Lyttle Questions (Lyte Records)

Andreas Varady (guitar), David Lyttle (drums), Bandi Varady (rhythm guitar), Michael Janisch (bass) Andreas Varady is a 13-year-old guitarist from Slovakia who has been creating a stir. Much more than a technical boy wonder, he displays considerable creativity and a deep understanding of the music. The selection here takes in Miles Davis's Donna Lee, Django Reinhardt's Festival 48, John Coltrane's Giant Steps, two tunes by Lyttle and two by Varady himself. It is available on

Singer Emilie Conway leads a quartet in Bewley's tonight. Next Friday at 6pm, Colette Henry (vocals) and Myles Drennan (piano) can be heard in La Cuvee Bistro and Wine Bar, IFSC, Dublin.

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