May 29, 2024

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Julian Siegel and Renegade Brass light up Limerick jazz festival 2018: Photos, Videos

This year’s festival was perhaps short on surprises, compared to previous editions, but was high in quality. The energetic mainstream was amply taken care of in a closing double-bill of the Limerick Jazz Quintet with vocalist Aoife Doyle and Jim Doherty’s Tenor Madness quintet.

The veteran pianist had paired the reliably exciting saxophones of Richie Buckley and Brendan Doyle but, unlike many two-tenor blowouts, his arrangements paid attention to dynamics and endings. On paper, much of the programming was a case of former festival heroes returning in a new guise.

Julian Siegel (below), here for the first time fronting his own quartet, impressed with his vast expertise on tenor, soprano and contrabass-clarinet, matched by the ridiculously inventive Liam Noble on piano. The original material from their recent album Vista was augmented by tricky adaptations of Bud Powell and Cedar Walton, and proved that super-clever doesn’t rule out super-communication.


Listeners in Ireland are speculating that, after next March, British musicians may well need visas to perform in the Republic, so it’s gratifying that this year there was a good UK representation. Northern Ireland’s Linley Hamilton floated his versatile trumpet on a pad of eight Dublin string players plus a Limerick rhythm-section, directed by arranger-pianist Cian Boylan, with brief contributions by singer Jess Kavanagh.

Cork-based trombonist Paul Dunlea appeared with an Anglo-Scottish sextet including trumpeter Ryan Quigley and drummer Alyn Cosker, doing new music due to be recorded the following day. Dunlea’s themes and often unconventional writing (sometimes pairing trombone and electric bass) are compelling but it was the energy of this debut performance that triumphed, thanks also to Paul Booth (tenor), Eoin Walsh (bass) and Steve Hamilton (piano). On the other hand, Renegade Brass (top) from Sheffield had their bass drum miked soooo loud as to render almost inaudible much of the brass and the turntablist, and their rapper. But they certainly got the Saturday night punters dancing to the beat.

– Brian Priestley;

– Photos by Salvatore Conte

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