A bass in jazz traditions

Having released his debut album on Monday, jazz bassist Mick Coady will perform in the Riverbank in Newbridge this Friday night at 8pm.

Having released his debut album on Monday, jazz bassist Mick Coady will perform in the Riverbank in Newbridge this Friday night at 8pm.

It will be the first Irish stop on a tour titled: Mick Coady’s Synergy Feat: David Binney, which will also visit the Cork Jazz Festival.

The tour marks the launch of the album Nine Tales of the Pendulum, on which Coady worked alongside saxophonists Binney and Michael Buckley, pianist Ivo Neame and drummer Sean Carpio.

An international group of talented musicians, Coady - who wrote seven of the nine tracks on the album - grew up in Waterford. He started out playing bass with local R ‘n’ B and rock bands in his teens.

“I started to take it more seriously when I met [jazz bassist and composer] Ronan Guilfoyle,” Coady told the Leader.

He studied under Guilfoyle, prompting him to move to Dublin where he met and played alongside Irish jazz musicians such as Richie and Michael Buckley, Mike Neilson and Noel Kelehan.

After spending time living in Boston, London and elsewhere, and working with jazz musicians from around the world in the meantime, Coady returned to Dublin in 2009 to complete a masters in music at Dublin Institute of Technology. It was at that stage that he met renowned alto saxophonist David Binney.

“I played some gigs with the piano player Edward Simon from Venezuela and he introduced me to David Binney. I was working on my masters at DIT at the time and I wanted to interview Dave as part of my thesis.”

Coady met Binney in New York. “We went for lunch and hung out a bit and discussed ideas.”

The pair decided to work together on an album, and Coady also brought Buckley, Neame and Carpio on board.

“They’re people I’ve worked with for many years. They’re fantastic players.”

Buckley and Carpio could not make the tour, however. Taking their places will be Julian Arguelles and James Madden.

The album has been in the works since the start of last year. “We started writing the music in January 2011 and finished recording in mid-May [2012].”

They approached the independent record label Jellymould Jazz and secured funding from the Music Network and the Irish Arts Council, who provided funding for the tour.

The music itself has “free sections within the tunes” which are “improvised on harmonic progressions”. So the artists have a chance to play around a bit on stage at times. And the writing is contemporary with traditional influences.

Coady says there used to be more of a jazz scene in Ireland than there currently is and he would like to see more of a “formula based in traditions” of melody and harmony.

“We need to recreate the traditional jazz scene. Hopefully tours like this can help to do that.”

Mick Coady’s Synergy Feat: David Binney will be on at the Riverbank, Newbridge on Friday 26 October at 8pm. Tickets: E15 or E12 concession.

- Liam Godinho