Review By Ian Patterson
Jazz In The Round
Belfast, N. Ireland
March 31, 2023
Sergei Rachmaninoff surely wouldn't have minded. As Chamber Choir Ireland was tackling the Russian composer's choral masterpiece All Night Vigil in a Belfast monastery, across town in Ballyhackamore another master was holding forth. Guitarist Tommy Halferty has been honing his craft for over fifty years, and when an opportunity to see one of the greats of modern jazz guitar comes knocking, it would be foolish to ignore the call.
Like Louis Stewart, whom the Derry man studied with in the late '70s, Halferty is not as widely known as he should be. But collaborations with Benny Golson, Stephane Grappelli, George Mraz, Lee Konitz, Martial Solal and Norma Winstone, amongst others, attest to his pedigree. Often reductively referred to as the greatest jazz guitarist in Ireland, Halferty is in fact, near the top of the tree wherever you care to look for comparisons—past or present.
Read more: Tommy Halferty, Cormac O'Brien, Greg Felton At Scott's Jazz Club