Review of Randy Ingram & Drew Gress

Artist/Band: Randy Ingram & Drew Gress
Release date: 2018/01/27
Venue: Bagots Hutton LIVE, Ormond Quay,
Reviewer name: Grainne Farren

Since the beloved JJ Smyth’s closed down last year, the Dublin jazz scene has spread over a number of different venues, some old, some new. Bagots Hutton is among the latest. A medium-sized room with comfortable seating, small tables and an unobtrusive bar, it has good sound and – a rare thing in Dublin – good lighting. The excellent upright piano stands on a stage which is visible from every seat. Colourful abstract paintings decorate the walls. The club-like atmosphere attracts genuine jazz fans who sit and listen, but most of all they are attracted by the high quality of the music.

Randy Ingram (piano) and Drew Gress (double bass) played there on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January. On the Saturday night they began with ‘Away’, a composition by Gress who has played with many prominent pianists including Fred Hersch and Lynne Arriale. The empathy between him and Ingram was clear right away, as the duo eased into the tune at a leisurely pace.

Randy Ingram originals on the programme included ‘The Wandering’, ‘Large Father’ and ‘Silent Cinema’. His lyrical style also lent itself to subtle explorations of tunes by Cole Porter and Kenny Wheeler, underpinned by the bass-player who contributed some quietly powerful solos. Both of them had the contented glow of musicians who were enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

Their album, ‘The Wandering’, dedicated to the memory of the great British pianist John Taylor, is available from Sunnyside Records.



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