UK jazz Guitarist, Composer, Band Leader and Tutor
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Chris Flaherty
Guitar Bass and Drums

Rod mason
Saxes and Flute

Dennis Rollins
Trombones

Greg Nicholas
Trumpets and Flugel

Al MacSween
Keys - tr. 1,2,6,7,9,10,11

Aron Kyne
Keys - tr. 3,4,5,8
Line up - 2 Alto & 2 Tenor saxes, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Guitar, Bass, Drums & Piano. Plus flute on "Dance of the Sardines" and Flugel solo on "Parallel Motion".

All tracks composed and arranged by Chris Flaherty

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I began writing material for this album in the summer of 2011 having long had vision for leading a large ensemble (it's not very often you get the chance to play a leading role in a big band as a guitarist!!). It's been a mission getting this project off the ground but it's also been a lot of fun, and I feel genuinely privileged to have worked with some first class musicians that put in a lot of hard work to help me realise an ambition I've had for some time.

Please help to support us by buying the CD or Mp3's from this site or from JazzCDs.co.uk, i-tunes, amazonMp3 etc.  You can also "like" the Chris Flaherty Music page on FaceBook to keep up with the latest news and gig info - www.facebook.com/chrisflahertymusic 

Details of the Live Line-up and gig dates coming soon!



Reviews

All About Jazz (Bruce Lindsay)

The city of Leeds, in the northern county of West Yorkshire, has developed a reputation in recent years as one of the UK's hotbeds of contemporary jazz and improvised music. But Yorkshire jazz isn't just about being cutting edge or pushing envelopes: there's also a strong affinity with the music's history and traditions; an affinity that values The Great American Songbook, the craft of the ballad and the sheer joyous thrill of a mainstream big band in full flight.

Turning Point, the debut album by the Chris Flaherty Big Band, is a joyous example of this acknowledgement of past glories and, in the original tunes of leader/multi-instrumentalist Flaherty, a fine showcase for new music in that tradition.

Flaherty lives in Halifax, an industrial town a few miles away from Leeds, where he runs the Halifax Guitar School. He is a solid, unfussy drummer and bassist but he excels on guitar. His clear, bright, tone ensures that his single note playing cuts through the ensemble's sound while his rhythm playing is always beautifully judged and sympathetic to the lead players' contributions. He's long held an ambition to front a big band and has grabbed his opportunity in fine style.

There is a little artistic license in Flaherty's use of the term "Big Band," as there are only six players on this album—Al MacSween and Aron Kyne share the piano duties, while Flaherty plays all of the guitar, bass and drum parts. Whatever the reason for the lack of players— logistics, perhaps, economics almost certainly—it's to Flaherty's credit as composer, arranger, producer and engineer that the band sounds like a big band. From the laidback, seemingly effortless beauty of "Mosaic" and "Parallel Motion" to the up- tempo swing of "Let It Simmer" and the tough, driving, "Trane Spotting," Flaherty and his band mates craft some stylish music which, through judicious use of overdubbing, has a full, rich texture.

Trombonist Dennis Rollins, leader of the Velocity Trio, is probably the band's highest-profile member, but each player makes his own vital contribution. Greg Nichols and Rod Mason shine on the soulful funk of "Dance Of The Sardines," Mason and Rollins trade full-blooded solos on "McCloud 9." Flaherty is particularly impressive on "Let It Simmer"—as a guitarist, bassist and drummer—and the bebop "Trippin' Off Bird," which also features Kyne's punchy piano solo. The band's ensemble playing is equally strong: a special mention must go to the overall sound of the smooth, '60s big band style of "Song For Dawn."

Turning Point has clearly been a labour of love for Flaherty, so it's great to report that the labour was successful. This is a bouncy, bubbly big band sound, even if it does come from just half a dozen players—great on record, it deserves to be heard live.

Ian Mann (The jazz Mann) - Click here to read the full review

"
An enjoyable, accessible and well crafted album that deserves to enhance Flaherty's reputation as a musician and composer"


Adrian Ingram - Jazz Guitarist, Writer and Historian  

It’s always refreshing to hear a young musician keeping the classic jazz guitar tradition alive, but Chris is more than an accomplished jazz guitarist; he is a fully rounded creative musician, as evidenced by his compositions and skilful arranging.  All of these attributes, and more, can be found on his 11 track CD “Turning Point”.

It takes a brave man, in these times of stringent cost-cutting and rapid demise of jazz venues to put together a band of any more than four players!  But Chris has surrounded himself with top notch musicians like Rod Mason (Saxes), Dennis Rollins (Trombones) and Al Macsween (Keys).  Further evidence of Flaherty’s stature can be found in the fact that not only did he contribute some great guitar, but also takes charge of the bass and drum chairs! 

Primarily mid-tempo, the music ranges from the relaxed “Mosaic” featuring a nice guitar solo, to the cooking opener “Trane Spotting”.  The L.A styled (Bob James, Dave Grusin et al) “Parallel Motion” has the expected funk back beat, some fine ‘side-slipping’ guitar and really tasty ensemble passages.  My personal favourite is “Trippin’ off Bird”; snatches of Donna Lee and Confirmation but no direct plagiarism.  This is a tour-de-force in the 50’s west coast style of Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan and Shelly Manne’s larger ensembles.  Check out too the angular intro to “Let it Simmer” for evidence of Flaherty’s obvious compositional talents.

Make no doubt; this is a fine CD from a very talented musician.

Geoff Amos - Jazz Promoter

"Turning Point is an excellent debut by band leader Chris Flaherty. The compositions and arrangements are bright, sophisticated and at times, downright sassy.  The ensemble playing is faultless, this is certainly a CD that merits repeated playing and I’m sure that hearing the band in a ‘live’ setting will be even better"