NIGEL MOONEY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - COR­MAC LARKIN

Lyte Records Nigel Mooney scored what, for an Ir­ish jazz mu­si­cian, amounted to a smash hit when his 2005 de­but al­bum, All My Love’s in Vain, reached the heady heights of No 37 in the pop charts. Mooney’s jaunty blend of clas­sic blues, un­stop­pable jazz grooves and dry Dublin wit struck a chord with jazzers and civil­ians alike, and great things were pre­dicted. It may have taken eight years, but The Bo­hemian Mooney sounds like just one of those great things.

Mooney’s Gripewa­ter Blues Band spear­headed Dublin’s blues re­vival in the 1980s, but three chords were never go­ing to be enough for the self-taught gui­tarist. By the late 1990s he had de­vel­oped a sound of his own, one that owed more to Ray Charles than to Robert John­son, and with lyrics that re­placed the tired old woke-up-this­morn­ing clichés of the blues with wry ob­ser­va­tions on love, life and mo­tor cars.

The Bo­hemian Mooney takes that sound to an­other level, courtesy of a stage full of Ir­ish and in­ter­na­tional tal­ent, in­clud­ing gui­tarist Louis Ste­wart, who lays down some im­pec­ca­ble rhythm gui­tar, and 1960s heart-throb Ge­orgie Fame, who duets with Mooney on one of the al­bum’s stand-out tracks, a storm­ing big band ver­sion of the old Mel Tormé clas­sic Down for Dou­ble.

Credit for the al­bum’s big, beau­ti­ful sound must also go to sax­o­phon­ist Michael Buck­ley who, with just a few horns and a lot of over­dub­bing, has con­jured up a sound that Count Basie would have been proud of.

Great tunes, great sound and a great line in dead­pan hu­mour – if he’s not care­ful, Mooney may have an­other hit on his hands. nigel­mooney.com

The Bo­hemian Mooney

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