I have put this off for long enough! Since the age of about 20, I have thought about recording an album of my own material. As the years advanced, that thought was never far from my mind. Talk about putting things on the long finger! You could say I’m easily distracted. 20 years later, I finally realised that I couldn’t put this off any longer and that if I didn’t get my act together soon, this dream album would never see the light of day.

So in October 2005, I dusted down all of those half-written riffs and grooves that I had set up on my sequencer (even going as far back as the Atari and Tascam 244 in the 1980’s) and short-listed the tunes that had most potential. To my surprise, I had 20 basic songs which were eligible. So I short-listed them again and finally narrowed it down to the 9 tunes that feature on this CD. I didn’t want the financial pressure of running up studio time and working to critical timeframes. I decided therefore that I would do all of the recording, mixing and mastering myself in-house with the exception of the Drums which were recorded by Tris in what was 'The Factory' in Barrow Street, all done in one day. Many thanks Tris and Tom.

I got down to work and finalised the melodies and arrangements. It then only remained to select the right musicians for the right songs, bearing in mind that I wanted to record a CD that would allow these musicians to play to their full potential and beyond. But out of all the numerous musicians I’ve been fortunate enough to work with on the Dublin Jazz scene, who would feature on the album? Who are Reverse Trust?

On Drums, Tom McDermott was the obvious choice as far as I was concerned. His versatility and feel are simply superb, whether using brushes on “Maybe”, or delicate yet intricate cymbal work on 'Frog City'. Thanks also to Tom for his guidance on the mixes. Check out his solo by the way on 'Frog City'!

Guitarist Mike Neilsen, demonstrates his dexterity using both Spanish Guitar and Fender Strat although granted not at the same time! His melodic yet edgy interpretations of 'If You Should', 'Frog City' and 'Birds of a Feather' are way beyond what I had hoped for.

Dick Farrelly also on Guitar for the rockier/bluesier numbers like 'As If', 'Exit Strategy', 'Reverse Trust' and 'Redundant' plays spine-tinglingly wonderful stuff, especially using the whammy on the Ibanez.

I had already recorded with Brendan Doyle Tenor/Soprano Sax on previous occasions and his professionalism and mastery of his instrument(s) made him a must have for 'Maybe', 'Frog City', 'If You Should' and 'Birds of a Feather'. A joy both to work with and listen to.

Then there was Derek O’Connor. His stunning virtuosity on Tenor Sax and Piano simply blew me away. He would record an amazing solo and then say “Get Rid of it, I can do better” and go on to record another dazzling performance. Of course I didn’t disgard the earlier takes and maybe one of these days, I’ll put together a CD of the out takes! Listen to his Wurlitzer solo on 'Exit Strategy' not to mention his Tenor and Piano Solos on 'Fill Me Up'. Brilliant.

I am grateful to Gavin Butler on Trumpet who stepped in at the 11th hour to put the finishing touches on 'Reverse Trust’s brass section.

I am also indebted to Trish and Melissa for their tolerance and patience over the last 14 months. They must be sick listening to these songs over and over again! Thanks also to Mark Cahill for the initial drum groove which inspired the song 'As If?' all those years ago, and for his 2nd pair of ears on the mixes.

Finally, thanks also to the rest of my family and friends for their encouragement, especially Gifford and Joe Whittle who (perhaps without knowing) made me realise that I can actually do this. The seed for Album no 2 is well and truly sown…

Niall

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