The best jazz this week: Cloudmakers Five make Irish debut

Rising US pianist Randy Ingram teams up with bassist Drew Gress

 

Monday Jan 22

Jazz Jam & ATSCH

Grand Social, Dublin, 8pm, No Cover Charge, thegrandsocial.ie

Every jazz scene needs a jam session, and every aspiring jazz musician needs a place to take their first steps on stage, so bravo for the Jazz Jam at the Grand Social, a weekly all-comers session which plugs that breach in the capital’s musical life. The musicians probably get more out of the evening than the audience, but consider it an act of love to turn up and lend an ear to musicians who may be at the start of a long and winding road to jazz stardom. This week, there is an opening set from guitarist Matthias Winkler’s ATSCH quartet, so at least some of the evening’s musicians will have met before. Musicians from all backgrounds welcome; basic instrumental proficiency expected; backline supplied; 27 chorus solos on John Coltrane’s Impressions optional.

Tuesday Jan 23

Cloudmakers Five

Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, 9pm, €10/8, cranelanetheatre.ie

The vibraphone is seldom heard – in jazz, let alone anywhere else – but in the right hands, those rows of polished aluminium can conjure a unique and beguiling sound. Londoner Jim Hart is possessed of such hands, and his Cloudmakers Trio, with drummer Dave Smith and Whirlwind Records boss Michael Janisch on bass, is certainly one of the more original groups on the European scene. Augmented to a quintet by the addition of Austrian guitarist Hannes Riepler and French saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang, the band is currently on a tour that has taken them around the UK and Norway, including a launch party for their new album, Travelling Pulse, at the Vortex in London, so they will be firing on all cylinders by the time they get to Cork for their only Irish date.

Thursday Jan 25

Michael Buckley

Bruxelles, Dublin, 9pm, €10, bruxelles.ie

Saxophonist Michael Buckley’s residency just off Grafton street is probably the most recommendable regular gig on the Dublin scene since the passing of Louis Stewart. Buckley is a master of the post-Coltrane saxophone idiom, a forcefully creative improviser with a gamut that runs from classic standards to gnarly contemporary composition to muscular jazz fusion. For this must-hear residency, he has called on the equally extravagant talents of Venezuelan pianist Leopoldo Osio and the first-call rhythm section of bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady. It’s a virtuosic quartet that would adorn any scene, anywhere in the world, and it’s yours for a tenner of a Thursday night.

Friday Jan 26

Randy Ingram/Drew Gress

Bagots Hutton, Dublin, 8.30pm, €20/15, dublinjazz.ie (also Saturday 27th)

Rising US pianist Randy Ingram is a focused and intense improviser in the manner of Bill Evans and the increasingly influential Fred Hersch, with whom he has studied. Last year, the Brooklyn-based pianist released The Wandering, a well-received duo recording with bass eminence Drew Gress on prestigious New York indy label Sunnyside Records, and it is the hugely respected Gress that Ingram brings with him to Dublin this week for a two-date engagement at Bagots Hutton. Much as the pianist’s harmonic density and sense of melodic adventure will be admired, expect the plush new venue’s back room to be heaving with rapt bassists.

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