Song traditions of different complexions come under the scrutiny of five exceptional musicians in this concert that features duo and trio performance with a memorable quintet finale.
Certainly England’s and arguably Europe’s finest jazz singer, Norma Winstone has saved the very best work of a four-decade career until now. Recent recordings for ECM have drawn forth something special and here she reunites with guitarist Tommy Halferty, a perfect foil for her lissome voice and forthright delivery. It’s a style all the more affecting for its absence of histrionics and melodrama, attesting to the power of time, experience and musical refinement.The pair worked together successfully in the early 1990’s, but the occasions when they have shared a stage since then have been rare – but much talked of events in jazz circles. Norma Winstone was born in London and first attracted attention in the late sixties when she shared the bill at Ronnie Scott’s club with Roland Kirk. In 1971 she was voted top singer in the Melody Maker Jazz Poll, and over the years she has played and recorded with many of the great jazz legends. Norma Winstone continues to be at the forefront of British jazz – being nominated again in the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards for best vocalist, as well as being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in the same year.
Tommy Halferty is from Derry, and one of that city’s proudest musical exports. Since the late 70s, he’s been an irrepressible voice, always lyrical and animated, and a generous mentor to a new generation of guitarists.
With a brace of cds together, drummer Kevin Brady here reconvenes his acclaimed trio with Dublin bassist David Redmond and Michigan pianist Bill Carrothers. One of the most lyrical and individual voices in jazz today, Carrothers is a pianist who stands apart from the crowd, and his impressive back catalogue includes the elegiac Armistice and Civil War Diaries, CDs that stand as powerful statements on the human dimension in all conflicts. Distilled over many nights as rhythm section of choice for Dublin’s leading pianists, Brady and Redmond play with all the nuance and dynamics that the idiom demands, alive to the invention and sophistication of one of the finest pianists in the US today.