Last November I sped down to Dublin (100 miles south) to see Irish jazz guitar legend Tommy Halferty’s 70th birthday concert. I was unfamiliar with Tom’s music, though I knew the name. (I realise there will be several Afterworders who will now tell me they have 20 of his albums and how come I don’s – but there just isn’t enough time in the world to hear everything, especially if a large part of your day job is documenting things that happened 50 years ago.) I went because I’d just heard the great Norma Winstone would be there, a fabulous English singer of 50 years standing (hence, I knew her vintage works…).
The whole show – a set with Norma then a trio set then a one-off septet, playing seven pieces of Tom’s arranged for the occasion by bassist Ronan Guilfoyle who, as far as I can see, sort of runs Irish jazz.
It was professionally filmed and here is a wonderful edit of some of the evening with great sound.
It was uploaded in March, but I’ve only noticed it tonight. The reason I did was because my friend Scott Flanigan – a fabulous pianist and arguably Ireland’s leading jazz organist – dropped me a line to tell me he’s playing with Tommy in Belfast on July 21st (McHugh’s bar, should anyone be interested), and playing a set of Tony Williams Lifetime from the John McLaughlin era, no less. that’s just about the most obnoxious, anti-social music a pub jazz act could possibly play – and I will, naturally, be there. I may even hire someone to film it.