ROOTS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS CDs - Ray Comiskey Ray Comiskey Joe Breen

cep­tional and in­di­vid­ual acous­tic gui­tarist, in a se­ries of del­i­cate yet ro­bust duets of great in­ti­macy and charm. The tonal con­trast works well, and they make beau­ti­fully judged use of it to heighten the im­pact of their di­a­logue. The ma­te­rial, orig­i­nals by Haden and For­cione, with Fred Her­sch’s Child’s Play added, pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore a wide range of ex­pres­sion, from the fla­menco echoes of Haden’s La Pa­sion­aria and the melan­choly beauty of his Si­lence to the ex­pres­sion­ism of For­cione’s Snow and Noc­turne and the lyri­cal ro­man­ti­cism of his Anna. And through the dra­matic shifts of Haden’s For Turiya the pair sus­tain the flow and in­ter­est so ef­fec­tively that the 11-minute im­pro­vi­sa­tion passes in a flash. De­light­ful. www.thenaim­la­bel.co.uk PAUL CAR­LON Other Tongues Deep Tone ★★★★ The reed­man, com­poser and ar­ranger un­veils his own in­ven­tively con­tem­po­rary take on latin jazz, with a ba­sic trum­pet/two reeds/two trom­bones/pi­ano/ bass/drums octet, de­ploy­ing a sparkling range of fresh lines, or­ches­tral colour and rhyth­mic di­ver­sity in a se­ries of charts packed with in­ci­dent. And he has a crisp, buoy­ant and ebul­lient band to carry them off with id­iomatic brio. De­spite plenty of space for so­los and the pres­ence of guests – Buddy Terry (tenor), Ileana San­ta­maria (vo­cals) and Max Pol­lak (rum­batap, Afro-Cuban dance, and body per­cus­sion) STEPHEN SIM­MONS Drink Ring Je­sus Rounder ★★★★ Stephen Sim­mons is a singer-song­writer from the small town of Wood­bury, Ten­nessee. Ac­cord­ing to his web­site, “his mother was a school­teacher and his fa­ther held a fac­tory job. (In his fam­ily, they were the first gen­er­a­tion that didn’t work the farm) Hum­ble and soft-spo­ken, Stephen at first seems to ex­em­plify this rural, Church of Christ up­bring­ing,” And then you lis­ten to th­ese haunt­ing strug­gles with faith and liv­ing and you hear a man con­fronting his an­gels and demons head on. Drink Ring Je­sus is de­lib­er­ately shorn of any or­na­men­ta­tion – we are into bar­ing of the soul ter­ri­tory – with only acous­tic gui­tar and har­mon­ica for com­fort. Sim­mons sings with a ques­tion­ing and colour­ful in­ten­sity, drawn equally by the bar and the bel­fry. This is not about re­li­gion; it’s about search­ing for and then ques­tion­ing the things we be­lieve. www.stephen­sim­mon­s­mu­sic.com

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