Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Sharp & Flat' : musical 'mazingness of Mister Sam Jackson

The extremely talented Sam Jackson (well known, you might say, to us here at No Fixed Abode) has released his avidly awaited debut album 'Sharp & Flat' and most excellent it is too. He is undertaking a national tour to launch it, and seeing him perform live on the piano is an even more exciting and emotional experience than listening (again, and again, and sometimes immediately again) to the album. Not to mention hearing him funk it up and loop live on his Fender Rhodes and improvise with the accompanying muchly talented musicians Shane O'Donovan on drums and Dave Mooney on double bass.

The music on the album is beautiful, innovative and sharply current while simultaneously evocative of well-loved jazz, haunting and energetic at once, and really does bear listening to repeatedly, each track and as a whole. The live performance gives all this and more, amplifying the interesting counterpoints of found sounds and classical referencing, and throws in some surprises to boot. So purchase your entrance passes to the live version now, and if you're unfortunately not located on this island where you can attend, the album can be yours from Bandcamp, Amazon or iTunes this minute. Digital downloads know no borders. Or you could choose a special edition embossed CD – especially beeyootiful.


After his first gig on Culture Night in the lovely wooden Castalia Hall of the Camphill Community near Callan, County Kilkenny last Friday (pictured above), he will be playing the National Concert Hall in Dublin this coming Monday 1st October at 8p.m. As the official launch of the album, featuring additional special guests and in the esteemed environs of the John Field Room, this promises to be a memorable concert. After that comes an evening in The Model, on the Mall in Sligo at 8.30p.m. on Friday 5th October as a treat for his fans in the Northwest. He'll be finishing the tour with a gig at 8.30p.m. on Wednesday 10th October in Druid Lane Theatre in Galway, an apt location as Jackson also composed the music for Druid's current acclaimed production of three plays by Tom Murphy.

Indeed if you just can't get enough of his melodic stylings you can see Druid Murphy on Inis Meain in the Aran Islands tomorrow, at the Dublin Theatre Festival from 2nd - 13th October and in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. From 17-20th October. You may also be familiar (family-ear?) with Jackson's many years of work with Moya Brennan of Clannad, at the Abbey Theatre and as composer on Druid Synge. But more exciting than and quite different to those productions will be his live concerts, and his to-be-treasured album, 'Sharp & Flat'. Listen, enthuse, enjoy.


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