Lee Meehan, Some of Us Are Looking At The Stars ****

A strong statement of intent here from swinging Irish guitarist Lee Meehan and a selection of originals. With a version of Tadd Dameron's 'On A Misty Night' also part of the mix, the ex-Madeleine Peyroux drummer Darren Beckett injects plenty of …

Published: 10 Sep 2023. Updated: 7 months.

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A strong statement of intent here from swinging Irish guitarist Lee Meehan and a selection of originals. With a version of Tadd Dameron's 'On A Misty Night' also part of the mix, the ex-Madeleine Peyroux drummer Darren Beckett injects plenty of pace and he is joined in the rhythm section by pianist Scott Flanigan and by bassist Dave Redmond. Saxist Michael Buckley on tenor completes the sound contributing a sweeping grandeur to 'Danu,' his line followed by some super subtle soloing by Meehan who reminds us a little stylistically of fellow Irish ace Nigel Mooney and the Ireland based English player Phil Robson. There's a lack of pretentiousness throughout and a concentration on big melodic statement shaped by a good deal of decorative flourish. One of the best Irish releases of the year certainly - hear Meehan, pictured above - at Scott's in Belfast on 23 September and at the Limerick Jazz Festival on 24 September.

Tags: reviews

Saturday morning listen - Maciej Obara Quartet, Frozen Silence, ECM ****

A serious elemental listen the tunes stacked with intimations of the natural world, mountains, rainbows, stone, heat, cold and silence. Sax, piano, bass drums - very much an acoustic sound where you can feel the presence and strength of all the …

Published: 9 Sep 2023. Updated: 7 months.

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A serious elemental listen the tunes stacked with intimations of the natural world, mountains, rainbows, stone, heat, cold and silence. Sax, piano, bass drums - very much an acoustic sound where you can feel the presence and strength of all the instruments - it is the work of the Polish-Norwegian band of alto saxophonist Maciej Obara whose Three Crowns (2019) and Unloved (2017) have already unveiled the band's pedigree. The new album is stocked with Obara tunes, the compositions inspired by the landscapes of the Karkonosze region in south-west Poland where Obara's family roots are. The pianist on the new album is once again fellow Pole pianist Dominik Wania, with Norwegians Ole Morten Vågan on bass and drummer Gard Nilssen completing the quartet. Hugely rewarding. l-r: Gard Nilssen, Maciej Obara, Ole Morten Vågan, Dominik Wania. Photo: Jacek Poremba/ECM