Gonzalo Del Val: Standards in Dublin review – creative vibes in dirty ol’ town

Standards in Dublin
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Artist: Gonzalo Del Val
Genre: Jazz
Label: Quadrant Records

Jazz is the ultimate melting pot, and Dublin’s jazz scene has benefited hugely over the last decade with the growth of a community of ex-pat musicians from around the world.

One of the latest arrivals is noted Spanish drummer Gonzalo Del Val, who divides his time between Dublin and Barcelona where he still teaches at L’AULA de Música Moderna. To announce his arrival in his adopted city, you could say that Del Val has gone straight to the source, teaming up with two jazz heavyweights who have exerted a huge influence on the development of the Dublin scene, New York saxophonist Dave Liebman and Dún Laoghaire bassist Ronan Guilfoyle.

As the name suggests, this is a set of standard tunes – including Jimmy Heath's Gingerbread Boy, Steve Swallow's Remember, Thelonious Monk's Pannonica, as well as a couple of choice tunes from the American songbook, Summer Night and The Song Is You – whose familiarity allows the musicians to stretch out and find spaces of their own creation.

Del Val’s subtle, soft-spoken approach to the drum set is perhaps a contrast to Liebman’s usual rhythm company and it brings out a lyrical note in the great saxophonist’s playing.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director