Genre: Free Jazz, Jazz Rock
Mark O’Leary is probably Ireland’s best known modern jazz/experimental guitarist, travelling around the globe and playing with local musicians. His music covers wide areas such as jazz fusion, experimental improvisational music and Nordic folk songs.
From “Snow” titled album with blue mountain, covered by snow on the cover one can expect Nordic airy jazz with folksy tunes, but that would be a mistake. O’Leary’s “Snow” is based on Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow”, a story about a journalist marooned in a small mountain area town, covered by snow. A story about personal freedom and herd brutality rules, so there is a lot of tension and drama in this album’s music.
Recorded during the same Turkish sessions with local jazz trio as O’Leary’s previous album, “Live In Istanbul”, “Snow” sounds close to its predecessor. Terje Rypdal influenced slow, even lazy processed guitar sounds build ambient soundscapes, filled with ascetic percussion, bass and impressionistic touches of trumpet, scented by minimalist electronic effects. All six compositions sound more like one long soundtrack, full of silent sadness and tension.
Using the same dynamic structure formula as on the previous album – starting from a very laid back music and then increasing tension, sound and drama step by step, “Snow” demonstrates faster changes that makes it more alive and attractive. In combination with the nervous dark atmosphere this music is hardly a nice ambient-related lounge sound, more like the excellent soundtrack to a documentary from this tragedy’s place.
Review by Snobb
Released January 6, 2011
Bass, Electronics – Murat Çopur
Drums – Şenol Küçükyıldırım
Guitar – Mark O’Leary*
Trumpet, Electronics – Can Ömer Uygan
Recorded Peyote, Istanbul Oct 2008
Mixing and Post Production Donncha Moynihan at The Hub Studio Cork.
All compositions O’Leary (IMRO), Küçükyıldırım, Çopur, Uygan