In the 12th edition of The Hot Box we establish a flashback to jazz events in Ireland in the distant past. In Hot Box 11 we heard how a hotel in Ballsbridge had not one, but two resident jazz groups, and how members of the famous Ray Charles big band used to sit in. “Free jazz for the price of half a pint” said our correspondent, who was an impecunious student in 1964.
Now dubbed Unreliable Memories, in the next historic tale, Donald Helme recalls Ireland’s Number 1 location for the presentation of jazz in the late 1960s, The Fox Inn in Ballymadun, Ashbourne, Co. Meath! Purchased by American saxophonist Jim Riley, when the gents toilet was the next door field, and the nightly takings were £5, the remote country pub became a haven for jazz fans for about 6 years, with residencies by the likes of Keith Jarrett, Jon Hendrix , Annie Ross, John Surman, Mal Waldron and Lee Konitz.
Hot Box 12 features tracks by Konitz and Waldron, plus a never-before heard piece by Jim Riley himself after he had sold up and settled in Denver, Colorado. Plus new work by guitarist Kevin Eubanks, Hammond exponent Joey DeFrancesco and violinist Christian Garrick.