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the hot box iconThe Hot Box

The hope is that The Hot Box will satisfy the huge demand for a nationally available, hosted programme dedicated to just one musical form, something that no longer exists in Ireland. It covers the best in Irish recorded jazz, set it in the wider context of the international language that is jazz. Emphasis will be on enjoyment and a little bit of jazz history, especially as it applies to Ireland, thrown in. There will be a new Hot Box every 2 weeks here on Jazz Ireland.

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 This is a BIG Hot Box, responding to the demands of listeners for a Big Band Special. However, it doesn’t contain the standard historic fare of Basie, Ellington and Herman. Instead you’ll find the one-off bands of bassists Ron Carter (celebrating his 80th birthday this year) and Christian McBride, the modern sounds of both Bob Mintzer’s Big Band and The Big Phat Band from Hollywood, California, and from above the 49th Parallel, the Grammy winning band of trombonist Rob McConnell, The Boss Brass. You’ll also find some tracks laid down by Dublin’s Hot House Big Band, now commencing a residency at Harry’s on The Green.

As a pause for breath, Hot Box 14 also features new material from Irish jazz singer Edel Meade, from Brazilian singer and pianist Eliane Elias’ new album on Concord, “Dance of Time”, and from New England pianist Pete Malinvarni’s new album “Heaven”.

Dare we say… a heavenly set! It runs one and a half hours. Enjoy!

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to

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In the 13th edition of The Hot Box, Donald looks for pianists filed under the letter D, and plays pieces from Aaron Diehl, Kenny Drew Jr, and Jim Doherty. Some omissions of course but as a generality, surnames beginning with D seem not to provoke adoption of the piano as an instrument of choice!

As widely celebrated, the year 1917 saw the beginning of recorded jazz, but was also the birth year of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk. Ella at 100, a 4-CD box has just been released on Verve, and Jon Beasley’s MONK-estra Volume 1 offers some tempting examples of Monk restated for a big orchestra. (Don’t worry, Dizzy comes along in the next Hot Box!)

The “Unreliable Memory” in HB13 continues reflections on The Fox Inn in Ashbourne Co. Meath, epicentre of jazz in Ireland in the late 1960s, where unbelievably, Keith Jarrett was in residence for a week at the precise moment he was starting out as a leader, after his popular sideman role with the Charles Lloyd Quartet. And the Fox also hosted one of the most important figures in vocal jazz, Jon Hendrix, on two separate occasions, plus another third of the popular vocal group Lambert, Hendrix & Ross, Scotland’s Annie Ross.

New releases of note - superb tenor playing by Chicago’s Jon Irabagon, and the intense vocal experience from Ireland’s own Sue Rynhart, from her brand new album “Signals”.

The next Hot Box will be a uniquely BIG Hot Box, with nothing but fully loaded large aggregations.  Tuning up in about 2 weeks!

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to

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In the 12th edition of The Hot Box we establish a flashback to jazz events in Ireland in the distant past. In Hot Box 11 we heard how a hotel in Ballsbridge had not one, but two resident jazz groups, and how members of the famous Ray Charles big band used to sit in. "Free jazz for the price of half a pint" said our correspondent, who was an impecunious student in 1964.

Now dubbed Unreliable Memories, in the next historic tale, Donald Helme recalls Ireland’s Number 1 location for the presentation of jazz in the late 1960s, The Fox Inn in Ballymadun, Ashbourne, Co. Meath! Purchased by American saxophonist Jim Riley, when the gents toilet was the next door field, and the nightly takings were £5, the remote country pub became a haven for jazz fans for about 6 years, with residencies by the likes of Keith Jarrett, Jon Hendrix , Annie Ross, John Surman, Mal Waldron and Lee Konitz.

Hot Box 12 features tracks by Konitz and Waldron, plus a never-before heard piece by Jim Riley himself after he had sold up and settled in Denver, Colorado. Plus new work by guitarist Kevin Eubanks, Hammond exponent Joey DeFrancesco and violinist Christian Garrick.

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to

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The 11th edition of The Hot Box takes a new turn on the A-Z of pianists, and digresses to pay tribute to the recently deceased guitar hero Larry Coryell, who died on February 19th, not long after declaring that he wished to come and settle in Ireland! His dislike of the recent political events in the USA were well publicised. He is a sad loss to the jazz world, and The Hot Box has mined the archives for 2 pieces recorded with a quartet (including Fintan O’Neill) in Dublin back in 2004.
    
On the keyboard front, we feature New York-based Dubliner Justin Carroll, both in quartet format on piano and with his well-liked organ trio Organics. Other C pianists are Chick Corea, with his double Grammy-winning album Trilogy, Bill Charlap who has a beautiful new album out entitled Notes from New York, Gerald Clayton, Billy Childs (also a new album, Rebirth), Michel Camilo, and the wildest card, Ray Charles. The latter features on the show in a reminiscence of his band’s stay in Dublin whilst making a movie in Ardmore in 1964. Happily, this month also coincides with a never-before released recording by that big band, of a concert in Zurich in 1961.

A great mix of music running 80 minutes.

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to

the hot box al ryan

This time around we have a very special Hot Box for you with Al Ryan as guest presenter. Al Ryan is a well-known Irish trumpeter and broadcaster who now lives in the UK. He was a producer and presenter of jazz programmes for RTE and Lyric FM in Eire, covering of all Ireland’s major festivals, notably Cork Jazz, for nine years. He now broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio Oxford, as well as leading his own 17-piece big band in the UK and Ireland.

The Hot Box #010 features new releases from pianist Joey Alexander, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda.

Plus tracks from e.s.t to mark ACT music’s 25th birthday, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie all who celebrate centenaries this year and the Irish fraternity is represented by Paul Dunlea, Linley Hamilton and Boylan, Buckley & Evans.

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to

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The A-Z of Jazz Piano: this time - Pianists in the key of B

The task of hunting down jazz piano from A to Z is really only just beginning, but B proved to be a most rich seam of artists, and the The Hot Box #9 show may be remarkable for who we had to leave out as much as for those we included.

Hear The Bad Plus (yes, yes a bit of a B cheat) and Count Basie, Kenny Barron, Ray Bryant, Jaki Byard and Dave Brubeck amongst an hour long feast of pianists filed under the letter B. And of course, a celebration of the fine pianist from Dublin, Cian Boylan.

The Hot Box is released on www.jazzireland.ie every 2 weeks and can be heard on-line around the world. Tell your jazz loving friends, and talk to us direct with comments and suggestions to .

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All singing and all-female version of THE HOT BOX this time around, a rich seam of talent in Ireland and set amongst the best in the world. In this hour expect to find award-winning Charanee Wade and Cecile McLorin Salvant, plus Honor Heffernan, Maria Tecce, Mary Coughlan and Liane Carroll.

Vocal performance within jazz can sometimes be “hotly” debated (geddit?) - are you a jazz singer if you don’t scat? Our answer is emphatically yes, it all depends on interpretation, phrasing, harmonisation…….we could go on. Welcome to The Hot Box No 8.

We are still seeking recordings by Irish pianists, so if you know of any, let us know. We have a B…Cian Boylan, but more are needed!

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