Suzanne Savage, Armon-Jones, Charlie Moon Quintet - The best jazz gigs this week

Audiences at Craig Taborn will hear a concert that no-one has heard before, or will ever hear again

Influential US jazz pianist Craig Taborn plays NCH, Dublin (Friday 15th) and the Black Box, Belfast (Saturday 16th)

Influential US jazz pianist Craig Taborn plays NCH, Dublin (Friday 15th) and the Black Box, Belfast (Saturday 16th)

 

Saturday 9th

 Suzanne Savage
Arthurs, Dublin, 9pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
Belfast vocalist, violinist and composer Suzanne Savage is the singer they all call: from principle soloist with Riverdance to backing vocals for Van Morrison and Paul Brady to appearances with jazz legends Jimmy Cobb and Ernie Watts. Savage’s unique voice and technical command have made her one of the first choice session vocalists on the island. But it’s when she leads her own projects that the real talent shows and this quartet of Dublin heavyweights, including pianist Darragh O’Kelly, bassist Damien Evans and drummer Dominic Mullen will provide the perfect foil for a singer very much at the top of her game.

Wednesday 13th

 Joe Armon-Jones
Sugar Club, Dublin, 7.30pm, €25, thesugarclub.com
The ongoing Future Jazz series from Sugar Club promoters Choice Cuts is reaching parts of the audience other jazz promoters find hard to get to, by concentrating on lesser known fusion legends and a dance-inflected strand of ‘nu jazz’. The series’ latest hip transplant is London keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, who channels Lonnie Liston Smith and early Zawinul into his own louche confection, one that has found favour with tastemaker DJ Gilles Peterson and will engender movement in the hips of the Sugar Club.

Thursday 14th

 Charlie Moon Quintet
Arthurs, Dublin, 9pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
Chet Baker’s public reputation is based mostly on how he looked in photographs, either when he was an achingly cool young man, or again when he was a wizened, heroine-wracked old man. But despite the hagiography, the great US west coast trumpeter’s music gets due respect from musicians, and his legacy, particularly as a vocalist, can still be heard in jazz singers today. Guitarist and singer Charlie Moon has a particular affection for “the James Dean of jazz” and this St Valentine’s night tribute to Baker - with trumpeter Bill Blackmore, pianist Darragh Hennessy, bassist Barry Donohue and drummer Dylan Lynch - is a deserved fixture on the Arthurs calendar.

Friday 15th

 Craig Taborn
NCH, Dublin, 8.30pm, €18, improvisedmusic.ie (also Saturday 16th, Black Box, Belfast, 7.45pm, £14/12, movingonmusic.com)
Minneapolis-born pianist Craig Taborn is one of the two or three most original and influential pianists on the current international scene and for the cognoscenti, his arrival in Ireland for two solo concerts will be the hottest ticket in town. Avenging Angel, the 47-year-old pianist’s solo debut for the ECM label in 2011, was the sound of, yes, a genius at work. It was an astonishingly fresh and profound recording which rejected chest-beating histrionics in favour of absorbing meditations on melody, rhythm and harmony in the 21st century. Though he has a reputation as an innovator, Taborn’s playing glows with the whole history of the piano in jazz, from Waller and Monk to Hancock and Jarrett, and he begins each solo concert without any preconceptions or plans. Audiences in Dublin and Belfast will hear a concert that no-one has heard before, or will ever hear again. Unmissable.

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