Reviews of Kevin Brady
29/05/2009 The Irish Times | Jim Carroll
Irish Times | May 2009
Contributed by Jim Carroll
Both subtlety and verbosity are at play on Dublin drummer Kevin Brady's latest hook-up with American pianist Bill Carrothers. Brady and Bassist Dave Redmond have considerable playing experience together, so much so that they can probably anticipate each other's twists and turns.
But the arrival of Carrothers brings new vibrancy to the mix. Listen to how the dialogue develops and note the point at which individual characters dominate the discourse. Carrothers is at his best when adjusting new harmonic shapes, a challenge which drummer and bassist respond to with considerable vim.
There's a beautiful, slow-motion lyrical drag to the tune ' That Russian Thing'. while their version of Wayne Shorter's Black Nile makes a vintage bottle taste fresh and new.
A transatlantic relationship destined to get better and better. ****
10/05/2009 The Sunday Tribune | Cormac Larkin
The Sunday Tribune
Drummer Kevin Brady's second record with American pianist Bill Carrothers is further vindication of the Dubliner's creative energy and his commitment to making good music happen. A visiting musician with a local rhythm section can sometimes sound like strangers on a train, but Carrothers, Brady and bassist Dave Redmond have been playing together for a few years and it shows. As the principle composer of the group, the pianist supplies not only his fine, darkly humorous compositions, but also his restless musical imagination which refuses to settle for any tired trio tropes. The result is a very fresh, subtle blend of old and new that gives the listener something to think about. Review by Cormac Larkin ****
26/01/2009 Jazz Review Magazine
This is a very good album indeed. The Irish players are by no means dwarfed by US star Bill Carrothers, and all of them make great contributions to a programme of material by the likes of Wayne Shorter, Parker, Monk and two band originals. The pianist is rapidly making a name in Europe and in the U.S. and his melodic and at times spare playing leaves lots of room for Redmond's dark bass and Moriarty's lithe guitar, not to mention the drummer's imaginative drumming and soloing. There is a wonderful balance of tempi and styles here. 'Red Cross' by Charlie Parker is fast up tempo bop using unison guitar and piano lines. 'By Myself' is barely recognisable, save in parts as the sad lonely song it is. They give it an ethereal feel while Wayne Shorter's "Waterbabies" is a mysterious sounding theme. And what is the old warhorse "Daisy" doing here? - a strange comedy treatment, with free overtones.Overall the album sounds like a working group whose members are comfortable with each other and are prepared to see what happens and go where the music leads. One of the best albums I've heard this year.Contributed by Mike Rogers
16/11/2008 The Sunday Tribune | Cormac Larkin ****
"One of the most dynamic forces in Irish jazz over the last few years"
Dublin based drummer Kevin Brady has been one of the most dynamic forces in Irish jazz over the last few years, as the founder of the Living Room Project Music Collective and the rhythmic force behind two of the country's leading trios - Organics and the Phil Ware Trio. Recently he has begun to lead his own groups, and particularly to collaborate with front rank U.S. pianist Bill Carrothers. The result is this assured debut, with a set that ranges from standards to Wayne Shorter's Waterbabies,showcasing both Brady's deep connection with bassist Dave Redmond and the quirky brilliance of one of America's finest pianists.
author: Cormac Larkin
07/03/2008 The Journal Music of Ireland ****
Among the notable features of the Irish jazz scene in recent years has been the emergence of several outstanding keyboard trios, including the Phil Ware Trio and Organics, both of which are rhythmically anchored by drummer Kevin Brady. Last year, Brady’s own trio rose to prominence with two national tours bracketed around the release of Common Ground, a recording remarkable for its coherence, subtlety, and high standard of musicianship.
These virtues are the product of many factors, including Brady’s smooth combination of power and melodicism, guitarist John Moriarty’s lucid lines and delicate accents, and the assured interplay between Brady and bassist Dave Redmond. But it is the presence of veteran pianist Bill Carrothers that provides musical focus for these strengths and gives the CD its unique voice and clear sense of identity.
Carrothers’ fluency and harmonic invention inform all nine tunes, an inspired and varied set ranging from Charlie Parker and Tiny Grimes’ early bebop classic ‘Red Cross’ to Brady’s clever ballad ‘Goodbye Mr Munch’.
Brady has said that performing and recording with Carrothers has broadened his horizons musically, and certainly the pianist’s spare, intimate style and deep fund of ideas have helped give this recording an impressive inventive breadth. The spirit of Miles Davis hovers over much of the material, especially the cool, exploratory mid-sixties Miles, whose quintet balanced abstraction and blues feeling so effectively. Wayne Shorter did most of the writing for that band, and a Shorter piece from the period, ‘Waterbabies’, is one of the standout tunes on Common Ground, stark and cinematic and highly atmospheric.
Such is the force of Carrothers’ innovative urges that even the standards on this recording, ‘By Myself’ and Jerome Kern’s ‘Yesterdays’, are brooding, inquisitive treatments, full of collective musical scrutiny and steady surprise. ‘Bemsha Swing’ truly does swing, with Brady’s highly creative, melodic drumming driving the tune with humour and panache. Redmond’s ‘Origin’ opens with a forceful statement on bass that resolves into a collective free passage of great taste and delicacy. Moriarty supplies force and colour throughout and delivers sterling solos on ‘Goodbye Mr Munch’ and the Randy Weston waltz ‘Little Niles’.
Carrothers has played a lot with the American drummer Bill Stewart and, like Stewart, Brady has an expansive palette, terrific technique, and an unerring sense of musical structure. With these commanding individual gifts and his close feel for whatever ensemble he is supporting, it is apparent why Brady has become a key part of so many successful small groups. And as the CD is produced by the Livingroom Project Music Collective (www.livingroomproject.com), founded by Brady, we can also add producer to the range of talents he brings to a project. Let’s hope we see many more like Common Ground. by Kevin Stevens
01/03/2008 JAZZWISE Magazine by Brian Priestley ***
Jazzwise Magazine | March 2008
Drummer Brady is one of the young guns of the irish jazz scene, having studied in the States and with the London Guildhall, while he and the similarly educated bassist Redmond also form the two-thirds of the Phil Ware trio. Here, the sound is heavily influenced by the harmonically inventive and rhythmically alert US pianist Carrothers who visits Ireland far more often than the UK, which is a shame.
A couple of jazz-associated evergreens and a standard each from Parker, Monk, Randy Weston and Wayne Shorter all get inventive and sometimes surprising treatments, while a song in neither category - 'Daisy', showing Carrothers's interest in World War One period material - briefly features electronics and distorted voice (doubtless the pianist himself).
The two originals are ballads each from Redmond and Brady, the latter a highlight of the entire album but both are greatly enhanced by Carrothers and blend in well with the surrounding programme. The somewhat Scofield-esque Moriarty is on two thirds of the tracks. Though the leader doesn't draw attention to himself, his work is varied and constantly stimulating.
Review by Brian Priestley.
02/12/0007 Sunday Independent
Bill CARROTHERS, an American pianist based in Michigan, has made a number of visits to this country, and it was good to hear him again last Wednesday night in the Mermaid, Bray, with Dave Redmond (double bass) and Kevin Brady (drums). The group, touring Ireland as the Kevin Brady Trio, has reached the stage of integration and togetherness that comes with regular collaboration.
Beginning with Church of the Open Air, a Carrothers original with hymn-like harmonies, the group played a richly varied programme that took in 12-bar blues, percussive be-bop, romantic songs such as Cole Porter's So In Love, and the jocular Waltz Macabre.
The pianist's lyrical approach brought out the best in slow, moody numbers, and his own compositions showed a quirky individuality that clearly appealed to the two Irish musicians. Redmond's bass work was nimble and tasty, while Brady proved himself a master of light and shade on the drums.
Bill Carrothers is featured on Common Ground (LRP), a new CD by the Kevin Brady Trio plus John Moriarty (guitar). Highlights include Charlie Parker's Red Cross, Wayne Shorter's Water Babies, Brady's Goodbye, Mr Munch and Dave Redman's Origin. Put it on your list of Christmas presents to yourself.
30/11/0007 The Irish Times - Ray Comiskey ****
KEVIN BRADY & BILL CARROTHERS Common Ground Living Room
Carrothers is such a major talent, it's not surprising the pianist had such a galvanising impact on drummer Kevin Brady's trio (with Dave Redmond on bass and John Moriarty on guitar) when they toured earlier this year. It's evident in the resultant studio recording; in the wryly imaginative recasting of By Myself; in the inventive quartet treatments of Bemsha Swing and Little Niles, especially the way the waltz's bridge section is used; in the gorgeous piano intro to the ballad, Goodbye Mr Munch, with possibly the best guitar solo of the album; and in the stunning piano solo on Red Cross's venerable rhythm changes. Above all there are two rather special trio performances: Wayne Shorter's other-worldly Waterbabies and a sublime Yesterdays. Carrothers doesn't do coasting and, to their credit, neither do this trio. www.livingroomproject.com RAY COMISKEY
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