Kevin Brady / Bill Carothers


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Drummer Kevin Brady has languished in the Irish jazz scene as this recording done in Dublin attests, but the distinctly American aspect of the music is more prevalent than any fusion with jigs or reels. Due to the presence of veteran pianist Bill Carrothers, the sounds are cast in phrasings closer to Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, or Denny Zeitlin, an all-original program of poetic jazz with straight-ahead bop, ballads, or contemporary jazz as the focal points. Carrothers -- a true unsung hero of modern jazz piano -- puts Brady and bassist Dave Redmond through the paces of the stair-step, cat-quick, neo-bop, Kenny Clarke-flavored straight bop "In the Wheelhouse" and the playful, tuneful "Home Row." But there's scheming and misdirection lurking in the deep "Out of the Blue" reflecting Jarrett; the purely mysterious "Big Mouth"; and the circus-veil surrounding "Waltz Macabre" à la Kurt Weill." At times a Native American or spiritual quality creeps in, but the trio keeps the ghostly visage in check, even offering up a super slow version of Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" to reaffirm the group is cognizant of past masters. Brady himself is spartan in his rhythm navigating, aware that Carrothers is being given complete freedom to weave in an out as he pleases melodically. A sleeper of an album, jazz fans should seek this one out and be quite pleased with the results.