Phil McDermott


NowPMCD Records ****

Now settled in Norway, Dubliner Phil McDermott’s leader recording debut is, on the evidence of this splendid CD, long overdue. Pat Martino is an influence, but McDermott’s confident and mature work here says he’s not beholden to anyone. He has a lovely tone, a sure and fecund melodic sense, the abundant technique to express it and, in Erlend Slettevoll (piano), Magnus Rød Haugland (bass) and Stein Inge Brækhus (drums), a rhythm section so good it’s hard to believe it’s a pickup group.

Tenor Tore Brunborg guests on three tracks (though he solos only on one), but this is essentially about the quartet. McDermott’s six originals, strongly conceived, sharply differentiated and stimulating, are fine fare to soloists of the calibre of the leader and the impressive Slettevoll.

Excellent performances on Ifand Darn That Dreamcomplete a solid contemporary post-bop album.