blue-impressions-smallJard sur Mer, is a small seaside village 80kms north of La Rochelle on the French Atlantic Coast. With its pine forests, endless golden sands, fishing ports, its where Irish guitarist Tommy Halferty had a fortuitous encounter. In 1987 he discovered the two Lavergne brothers; organist Jean-Philippe and drummer Christophe, natives of the holiday village, that led to the formation of a jazz trio that still performs today. HLT have forged a distinctive trademark European Jazz sound with power and burning intensity, totally revitalising the organ trio concept. And it all started by chance in a little French seaside resort called Jard sur Mer.

ogham-dalkey-songTommy Halferty, one of Ireland's finest guitarists, leads three French musicians in a successful marriage of jazz and folk. Irish songs such as My Lagan Love, Raggle Taggle Gypsies and The Bold Fenian Men get a new lease of life, with arrangements by Michel Zenino.

The group, collectively known as Ogham, respects the original tunes while building on them imaginatively -- and Halferty is adventurous in his interpretations. Apart from the traditional tunes, there are two originals with a folky sound: Fire and Rain by James Taylor and Ballade Irlandaise by Eddy Marnay and Emil Stern. The French trio is totally in sympathy with the undertaking, and Halferty's soloing is a joy.

breathingtheair5 This fine trio – with Halferty on guitar, Ronan Guilfoyle on bass and Keith Copeland on drums – has recorded a string of albums under the drummers name. Now Halferty assumes the leader’s mantle but sticks with the approach that has made this trio so strong – muscular, intensely swinging music that marries Copeland’s superhuman groove to Halferty’s joyously expensive guitar playing bound together with total assurance by Guilfoyle. There are bravau performances from all three, but from Halferty particularly with guitar playing that puts him among the elite. Sunday Tribune May 04