Dave Redmond may be a secret ingredient hidden in plain sight. He's one of several. Redmond, little known beyond the tight knit tiny Irish jazz scene, proved himself the surprise factor too on George Colligan's Live in Arklow another Ubuntu release that has a winning mix of American and Irish players and who also all really gelled.
Drummer Kevin Brady's studio record couldn't be more different to that formidable piano trio given idiomatically how different to Arklow it is. Far tougher bustling jazz-rock in complexion, more like the kind of thing you'd hear in the 1970s or later in the 80s and chargingly spearheaded by the Thelonious Monk Prize winning saxophonist Seamus Blake who say on 'Suicide Squeeze' is completely compelling. Bill Carrothers on Fender Rhodes electric piano provides balm on 'Quiet Beach' and much more but really it's the Brady and Blake floorshow in terms of sheer firepower which is an important part of the album's success.
Even when Blake goes all bruised romantic it's still salted through with edge and commitment that says dry your tears. To return to the starting point Redmond is agile and supremely beefy in support and the album has deep roots and the beat he lays down cannot be taken for granted. Final word the quality of the compositions (written alternately by Brady and by Carrothers) is outstanding. I'll certainly add Plan B to the next albums of the year update in a couple of months. That's a no-brainer as is its five-star rating. Out on Friday and streaming ahead of release on Bandcamp. Hear the band in Sligo town on 27 November when they play a theatre show at the Hawk's Well