Sunday 18 November 2018

Mooney and friends are at their very best

Grainne Farren


Nigel Mooney: The Bohemian Mooney (Lyte Records)

Mooney (vocals, guitar), Johnny Taylor (piano), Dan Bodwell (bass), Dominic Mullan (drums), plus guests.

This is Nigel Mooney at his very best, with a tremendous group and a Who's Who of guest musicians, including Louis Stewart, Michael Buckley, Richie Buckley, Linley Hamilton and Georgie Fame.

Naturally the accent is on the blues. The much-requested Ray Charles number Hard Times, the traditional Hellhound on my Trail and Georgie Fame's How Blue Can You Get? are featured, as well as Mooney originals like I Ain't Ready, Unlucky in Love and the title track.

But he goes beyond blues; he is an all-round jazz guitarist, inspired as much by Wes Montgomery as by BB King. Not only that, but he sings C'est si bon in impeccable French.

Nigel Mooney can be heard live at the Bloom Festival, Phoenix Park, next Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Next Sunday night he plays at the Hot Spot, Greystones.


Julien Colarossi (guitar), Chris Engel (saxes), Cote Calmet (drums, percussion, composer), Cormac O'Brien (double bass), Leopoldo Osio (piano).

Phisqa means 'five' in Quechua, one of the languages of Peru. Calmet is the Peruvian in this international quintet; the others are Italian, South African, Irish and Venezuelan.

Their stated aim is "to fuse native Peruvian rhythms with jazz". Well, it worked with Brazilian rhythms, but then, Brazilian music was close to jazz already.

Either Peru is still waiting for its Jobim, or its traditions are too remote from those of North America.

At any rate, from a jazz perspective the result is unconvincing, despite the undoubted talents of the musicians. It may have more appeal for World Music fans.

David O'Rourke (guitar), home from New York, plays in JJ Smyth's on Tuesday night. He will then go on tour with the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra: Waterford on Wednesday, Ballina on Thursday, Tallaght on June 6 and Bray on June 7. Details on www.jazzonthe

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