Birth of the Cool. On Jan 21st, 1949 the great jazz trumpeter Miles Davis assembled a nonet of four brass, two saxophones and three rhythm to record four tracks with eight more to come in April 1949 and March 1950. These recordings would make jazz history creating what we now call the “Birth of the Cool” sessions. Arrangements and compositions for the nonet were provided by Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, John Carisi and Miles himself. The music fused elements of classical harmony with the jazz rhythm section and is now considered as important as Duke Ellington’s 1940’s recordings or Miles’s later masterpiece “Kind of Blue”.
Conor Guilfoyle Octet. Led by one of Ireland’s leading drummers and educators the members of the octet are handpicked from his former students of the Newpark Jazz programme (now DCU) and represent some of the finest young players on the scene today.
The octet music has been a look back to the 1950’s to a style associated with the west coast called “Cool Jazz”, the origins which really began on the east coast with the seminal “Birth of the Cool” recordings, though they also plays hard bop classics by Horace Silver, Benny Golson and Tadd Dameron.
Since its foundation 2 years ago the goal of the octet has been to capitalise on the excellent training of the musicians performing classic works but it also has an eye to the future commissioning Irish composers and arrangers to create new music for the group.
Despite the importance and fame of the “Birth of the Cool” this will be the first opportunity an Irish audience will have to hear it in its entirety. They will also get to hear great arrangements from Gerry Mulligan a central figure of this seminal recording and one of the main exponents of the “Cool” style of jazz.
Two groups that will benefit from this series of concerts are those involved in realising the concerts, giving interaction between the musicians and the second group, the audience attending, providing them with a classic sound with an eye to the future.
The Conor Guilfoyle Octet
Conor Guilfoyle –Drums
Bill Blackmore – Trumpet and flugelhorn.
Colm O’ Hara – Trombone.
Yuzaha O Halloran – Alto saxophone.
Peter Dobai – Tenor saxophone.
Kelan Walsh –Baritone saxophone.
Luke Howard – Piano
Barry Rycraft – Bass.
Schedule of Performances and dates
- The Conor Guilfoyle Octet - Sofa Sessions, Billy Byrnes, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny. Thursday 20 February 2020