Belfast Trumpeter Linley Hamilton, recent recipient of a 1st Class Masters in Jazz Performance, currently studying for a PhD in Jazz and renowned for his Radio Show on BBC Radio Ulster, After Midnight with Linley Hamilton, steps across to the other side of the fence and releases his brand new album Taylor Made on LYTE Records, the label set up by drummer David Lyttle and which lists among its catalogue the debut recording of young guitar prodigy Andreas Varady.
The album brings together a strong line-up of hand picked musicians with an eclectic taste in jazz and a combined love for the songs chosen to provide the vehicle for improvisation and the communion of sharing the emotional impact of the processes that went into the making of the album.
The album is called Taylor Made for a reason…because pianist Johnny Taylor has brought so much of himself to the arrangements and the creation of the whole vibe of the album that Hamilton felt duty bound to extend the highest accolade of naming the album after him!
Taylor is joined in a rhythm section team by Dublin based American bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Dominic Mullan who themselves weave patterns that knit the music together and unleash an uplifting spirit that seems to prevail on every track; a spirit of love, of community, of mutual respect, of teamwork, of shared pleasure and responsibility that create an album which is an easy listen first time through, but that yields surprises in the detail on closer listening and a contemporary feel to tunes that in some cases have been around for a while.
While the treatments of Paul Simon’s Have a Good Time and Carol King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow welcome in music from a more popular idiom, the thought that went in to the reharmonisation and reworking of the melodies enhances the overall palette of colour and imbues an overall product that offers accessibility and a warmth that is evident from start to finish.
Without a Song kicks the album off with a respectful nod to the convention of the past but with a fluidity that implies a lot more to come and the magnificent arrangement of Fade a Little demonstrates a musicality which has been put central to the aims of the recording as a whole. While Throw it Away has periods of high drama and tension and release, My Heart’s Desire shows the significance of melody to the Quartet and Happy People; well it’s got fun written all over it.
This is a refreshing release with a broad appeal for followers of jazz and a band that has a busy diary of live performances and a desire to share the music in an engaging way. It has already attracted radio play from outside the genre and is available on iTunes as well as direct from the record company.