All About Jazz Amethyst Review

Published: August 16, 2016
Belfast, N. Ireland
August 10, 2016

With an increasing number of talented Northern Irish jazz musicians recording and gigging both home and abroad, jazz is this corner of the world seems to be in fairly robust health. Add to that Belfast's own jazz festival of international standing, Brilliant Corners—making waves since 2013—and there's plenty to be excited about. Amethyst, a straight-ahead quintet featuring local and foreign-based musicians, is the latest group to bolster the local scene. Based on the evidence of this gig, Amethyst can go on, with the right kind of support, to achieve great things.

Read more: All About Jazz Amethyst Review

Linley Hamilton: Right On The Wavelength

Published: May 19, 2014
“ Jazz is a social language, a social construct. It’s like religion in many ways; it’s how people choose to live their lives. —Linley Hamilton ”

Trumpeter Linley Hamilton has been a mainstay of the Northern Irish jazz scene for well over two decades. An in-demand session musician, Hamilton has played on over a hundred recordings of various stripes, lending his burnished tone to rock and pop artists and singer-songwriters alike. But it's as a jazz musician, jazz educator, jazz radio broadcaster, and not least, as an utterly tireless advocate of the music that he's best known.

With a quintet comprised of some of the very best jazz musicians North and South of the border, Hamilton has done as much as anybody to promote jazz throughout Ireland and his BBC radio show never fails to promote nationwide talent wherever possible. His tutorial residencies at the Sligo Jazz Project reveal a musician with a deep understanding of the mechanics of the music and one who recognizes the importance of mentorship to bring the next generation of jazz musicians through. With Hamilton it's all about giving back.

Read more: Linley Hamilton: Right On The Wavelength

Linley Hamilton: In Transition (2014)

Published: April 30, 2014

The title of trumpeter Linley Hamilton's second release for Northern Irish label Lyte Records tells a tale; in the three years since Taylor Made (Lyte Records, 2011) Hamilton has dug deep into the essence of his playing, refining his compositional approach and instilling a greater economy of notes in his playing. His is a discipline that owes more to the modern European tradition exemplified by Till Bronner and Mathias Eick than the beboppers that first inspired Hamilton on his journey. The result then is less technical dazzle and greater emphasis on melody and the honing of a sound— not only his personal sound, but that of the excellent band that he has molded.

Read more: Linley Hamilton: In Transition (2014)

All About Jazz - Ian Patterson

Dana Masters & The Masters of Jazz

Island Arts Center
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
April 26, 2013

Lisburn isn't a name that rolls off the tongue in jazz circles, or most other circles for that matter. The small Northern Irish town of 71,000 souls was granted city status in 2002, when it may have enjoyed the unique distinction of being the only city in the world without a hotel. Times change, however, and now the city has quite a nice one. Lisburn can also boast the Island Arts Centre, a truly fine promoter of local and international art in all its manifestations, and it may be the arts that finally put Lisburn on the map. What is more, Lisburn is now home to a jazz singer of real note in Dana Masters, and her performance at the Island Arts Center, heading a thoroughly impressive sextet, will long be remembered for the exceptional quality of her voice. Admittedly, Masters is originally from South Carolina, but she's made Lisburn her home.

Read more: All About Jazz - Ian Patterson

Si's Sights and Sounds

Si's Sights And Sounds

Next stop, Sandinos' Back Bar, for one of the best musicians I have heard all weekend - trumpet man Linley Hamilton. His medium tempo brass solos are simply irresistible, giving you the refreshing feeling of slipping into a comfortable bathrobe. Along with drummer Dominic Mullan, bassist Damian Evans and keyboard player Johnny Taylor, he provides a smooth, soothing series of notes, the perfect calm before the Neil Cowley storm.

Si's Sights And Sounds City Of Derry Jazz And Big Festival Awards 2013!

Best Pianist: Neil Cowley

Best Guitarist: Louis Stewart

Best Saxophonist: Gay McIntyre 

Best Bass Player: Rex Horan
Best Trumpeteer: Linley Hamilton

The Jazz Mann

“Taylor Made” ranks as one of the best contemporary mainstream recordings.”

Linley Hamilton

“Taylor Made” (Lyte Records LR006)

Trumpeter Linley Hamilton is part of the burgeoning Northern Ireland jazz scene. The Belfast based musician has worked extensively in both the jazz and pop/rock genres appearing with artists such as fellow compatriot Van Morrison plus Jean Toussaint, Jacqui Dankworth, Ken Peplowski, Foy Vance, Paul Brady and The Commitments. He also introduces a late night jazz show on Radio Ulster with the appropriate title of “After Midnight”. His latest album appears on Irish drummer David Lyttle’s Lyte Records and is an accomplished “modern mainstream” set featuring an interesting selection of jazz standards, contemporary jazz compositions and arrangements of classic pop tunes.

Read more: The Jazz Mann

The List

Belfast trumpeter's bop-inspired work

(Lyte Records)

There is some good jazz coming out of Ulster these days, and trumpeter Linley Hamilton is one of the people making it. His CV includes work with Van Mor rison and Paul Brady as well as more mainstream jazz connections, and the choice of mate rial here includes tunes by Carole King and Paul Simon alongside more obvious jazz fare. Hamilton’s fine bop-inspired work on trumpet and fl ugelhorn is underpinned by pianist Johnny Taylor and a solid rhythm section, and Taylor’s arranging contribution is also the source of the album’s titl e.

Sunday Independent - Grainne Farren

Ebullient quartet ensures JJ's has a good time


Sunday August 28 2011

"HAVE a good time," exclaimed Linley Hamilton in JJ Smyth's last Sunday night. As an exhortation it was unnecessary, since everyone was already having a ball. In fact, it was the name of a tune by Paul Simon, and the quartet went on to play it in ebullient style.

Read more: Sunday Independent - Grainne Farren

Louise Dodds, Jazz Bar, Edinburgh

Rob Adams

Louise Dodds moved to London some time ago to further her career as a jazz singer but she returned to an old haunt, the Jazz Bar, to launch her new album, Fly, and was rewarded with a good turn-out and an attentive audience, at least until the lateness of the hour fostered, as it were, more relaxation.

Read more: Louise Dodds, Jazz Bar, Edinburgh

All About Jazz 1


Published: August 20, 2011

It's rare that an artist names an album after one of his sidemen, but Belfast-based trumpeter Linley Hamilton clearly values the contributions that pianist Johnny Taylor made to this recording.

Both men share a vision, regarding the manner in which they should address traditions while also putting their own stamp on these well-known numbers, and their empathetic rapport is evident from the very start.

Read more: All About Jazz 1

All About Jazz 2

Trumpeter Linley Hamilton is a central figure in the burgeoning Northern Ireland jazz scene. He's an experienced musician, with a résumé that includes work with Van Morrison, Ken Peplowski and Jean Toussaint; being a broadcaster, whose Radio Ulster After Midnight program showcases new jazz; a writer and producer. Above all, he's a man with a genuine love of jazz and a desire to support and develop the music. It takes no more than a few bars of "Without A Song," the opening tune on Taylor Made, for Hamilton to transmit this love through one of the warmest and most welcoming of trumpet sounds.

Read more: All About Jazz 2

Irish Times - Ray Comiskey


Taylor Made

Lyte Records ***

For this solidly swinging mainstream/bop CD, trumpeter and flugelhornist Linley Hamilton assembled a fine rhythm section in Dan Bodwell (bass), Dominic Mullan (drums) and Johnny Taylor (piano), who presumably contributes the skilful arrangements that frame each performance. Hamilton is one of the best trumpeters on the local scene, with a fluent, mobile style and a lyrical imagination. He’s so well equipped technically that he could push the stylistic boundaries much further if he was so inclined. In the meantime his and Taylor’s mastery of the mainstream idiom makes for an impressively well executed album with some unusual choices of repertoire, among them the Wasserfuhr brothers’ Fade a Little , Woody Shaw’s Rosewood, Carole King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Paul Simon’s buoyantly rocking Have a Good Time.


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