Sharp & Flat
Best known as a composer for the theatre, notably for Druid and the Abbey, Dublin pianist Sam Jackson’s debut solo album is the happy sound of a musician freed from the usual constraints of writing to order, revelling in the chance to tell his own story.
There are traces of jazz in Jackson’s gradually unfolding melodic hooks, and more than a passing resemblance at times to Scandinavians such as Esbjörn Svensson and Bugge Wesseltoft. But this isn’t really a jazz album, and there are other layershere that only a musician of Jackson’s range and background would add: traditional Irish ornamentation, melancholic string arrangements and snippets of “found” audio that give it, at times, the feel of a film soundtrack.
Thoughtful and meticulously crafted, with a mix by sound engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, Sharp Flat is a personal musical statement, delivered with impressive conviction. samjacksonmusic. com