The week’s best jazz gigs
From the Daniel Soro Trio in Dublin to Sounds Like Freedom in Kilkenny
The Harriet Tubman Trio – bassist Melvin Gibbs, drummer JT Lewis and guitarist Brandon Ross – collaborate with concertina-player Niall Vallely in Sounds Like Freedom at the Kilkenny Arts Festival on Thursday 15th. Photograph: Michael Halsband
Daniel Soro Trio
Guitarist Daniel Soro started out playing flamenco and classical guitar, and the finger style he learnt from those idioms makes him one of the few jazz guitarists not to use a pick. Cleaving to the classic post-bop guitar style of players like Grant Green, Joe Pass and Louis Stewart, Soro’s trio features a muscular rhythm section with bassist Derek Whyte and drummer Brendan Doherty.
Fumbally Stables, Dublin
Improvised Music Company and Note Productions join forces this week to present another missive from the porous frontiers of creative music: Eris 136199 - featuring guitarist Han-earl Park, computer artist and guitarist Nick Didkovsky, and saxophonist Catherine Sikora – promise a generous envelope of sound and influences, embracing free jazz, noise, metal and bluegrass “without imploding under idiomatic pressures”; and psychadelic improv trio Zeropunkt - saxophonist/guitarist Fergus Cullen, drummer Jamie Davis and bassist Damien Lennon – present a show entitled ‘Psychiatric Music ÷ 3 x history, further burnishing their reputation as the most enigmatic and uncompromising free trio on the Irish scene.
Sounds Like Freedom
Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Concertina-player Niall Vallely combines a firm grasp of the Irish tradition – he has penned several ‘standards’ of the contemporary trad repertoire – with a willingness to explore other, more exotic musical avenues, but this new collaboration, instigated by Kilkenny Arts Festival as part of its Marble City Sessions strand, leads the Armagh-born musician into true terra incognita. Picking at the threads that connect the civil-rights movements in Ireland and the US, Vallely invites New York free-jazz pioneers the Harriet Tubman trio to Kilkenny – along with singer Karan Casey, harpist Úna Monaghan, fiddle player Aidan O’Rourke – for as a fresh a fusion as you’re likely to find on any festival bill this year. Named for one of the heroes of the Underground Railway system that helped to liberate African-American slaves in the 19th century, the Harriet Tubman trio – guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gubbs and drummer JT Lewis – come with heavyweight New York credentials and a history of combining scorching free-funk improv with the politics of liberation and black consciousness, standing in a noble lineage in US jazz that stretches back to Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and late John Coltrane. Sounds Like Freedom may be the start of something big, or it may remain a fascinating one-off meeting of musical adventurists – either way, it’s a must-hear for the open of ear.
JazzGate: The Music of Ella FitzGerald feat. Róisín Mulliez
Black Gate, Galway
Of all the singers who brought the great American songbook to the world in the mid-20th century, Ella FitzGerald remains the most loved and the most imitated, and her albums devoted to the work of Tin Pan Alley composers like Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin have provided generations of singers and musicians with definitive readings of some of the greatest songs of the century. For the latest in Galway guitarist Aengus Hackett’s JazzGate series, rising Dublin vocalist Róisín Mulliez leafs through the Ella songbook with Dan Bodwell on bass and Barry Duffy on drums.
Ian Date & Myles Drennan
Triskel’s Summer Jazz series, curated by former Cork Jazz Festival director Sinead Dunphy, continues this week with a rare concert appearance by Dublin pianist Myles Drennan in a new duo collaboration with Australian guitarist Ian Date. Drennan, one of the great Louis Stewart’s most trusted collaborators, is a gifted natural musician with an impressive grasp of the jazz piano tradition but opportunities to hear the shy, unassuming pianist play have been rare in recent years. Date, Australian-born but now resident in east Cork, is a supremely versatile guitarist who worships at the Django Reinhardt altar and knows how to entertain without compromising the music. It will be interesting to see and hear what ground these two disparate personalities converge on.