REVIEW: Dublin City Jazz Orchestra – Crescent Arts Centre

dublincityjazzorchestraSeductive, slick and stylish. Just a few of the superlatives to describe the opening night of the Brilliant Corners Jazz Festival, with the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra.

Brilliant Corners jazz festival returned to Belfast on Wednesday night for the third consecutive year and those who were privileged enough to be there for its opening verse had a real treat.

“Expect exciting tunes, humour, big noise and delicate sounds, all wrapped up in a beautiful melody.” This is the bold statement that preceded the show and it didn’t half deliver.

For the first time, for both the festival and for Belfast, the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra were in town and had been invited to make their long awaited festival debut. After only five minutes of listening to their trumpets drums and saxophones harmoniously fill the Crescent Arts Centre air it was a wonder why that it was only now that they were
making their long awaited debut.

The setting for this triumphant display of trumpets and trombones was the fortunate Crescent Arts Centre. An intimate venue which held the jazzy melodies beautifully however as glad as I was to witness the band in such close proximity, I couldn’t help but wonder if a larger venue wouldn’t have been more fitting for a band that contained performers such as the renowned Ciaran Wilde, the Late Late shows Derek O’Connor and of course own local input in the form of Linley Hamilton.

brilliantcornersThe first few tracks of the evening were designed to showcase the wide variety of the bands attributes with the primary intention of getting a tight grip on the anticipating crowd. They accomplished this on both fronts and with considerable ease.

A few mesmerising solos from the likes of Danny Healy and Jim Clarke setting the tone for the evening. And once they had their audiences attention and focus they slowed it right down and the delicacy and subtlety with which they played seduced the enthralled crowd.

Then the powerful Paul Frost sat his trombone down and picked up the microphone, took centre stage on both sides of the interval. His rustic and ragged voice blended perfectly with the accompanying band and was just an absolute delight to sit there and listen to. The whole set from start to finish was enjoyed by everyone there and the guitar
solos, drum solos were all well received.

Anyone who is of the opinion that a night of Jazz bands would only be suited to a connoisseur of this genre of music would be wrong. Its style and slickness mixed with just the right amount of swagger and unorthodox attitude had lured me in from the get go and kept me right there with them to the encore.

If you have any intentions of going to any gigs in Derry in May for their very own Jazz festival, keep a keen eye out for the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra who will be there. However if you’d like to get a little taste of the blossoming Brilliant Corners Jazz Festival, its on right through to the 28th March. Perfect if you’re about in Belfast this
weekend and want a taste of the real Whiplash.  Pól O’Hagan, GiggingNI.com