Arty McGlynn: Botera review – Going back to his eclectic musical roots

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Artist: Arty McGlynn
Genre: Jazz
Label: Independent Release

Wide open horizons and musical landscapes that know no borders. Arty McGlynn is widely admired as an accompanist without compare, but this solo album is a celebration of his eclectic musical tastes, forged from his 1950s teenage years when he would tune into American forces radio broadcasts on a German radio station.

Louisiana sax player Illinois Jaquet was a seminal influence on McGlynn, and his cap-doffing by way of a cover of Bottoms Up includes a nifty B section melody from McGlynn that beautifully and sympathetically complements Jaquet's original. McGlynn takes utter possession of Flying Home, a standard, beloved of Jaquet, from his days with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, substituting electric guitar for tenor sax, with Rod McVey's organ and Liam Bradley's percussion weaving their way through the chords with a fitting nonchalance.

Alongside a levitating version of Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn/Johnny Mercer's Satin Doll, McGlynn sidles in with a self-composed, fittingly louche jig, The Cran Man Jig. Such sheer audaciousness can only come from a musician completely at ease with his many-faceted musical self.

Honouring the shared American and Irish traditions of improvisation, Botera is a cool-heeled joy from start to finish.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts