Mar 142011

Well… Speaking of turntables – I recently got my father’s Garrard 301 with SME pickup arm brought back from Ireland thanks to Fintan O’Neill. I have no idea how much this cost my Dad back in the day but know that he bought through a combination of paying hard earned money and the good old fashioned barter system. The Garrard 301 BTW is now regarded as a collector’s item by audiophiles and I am about go down the path of bringing it back to life. Step one involves a new plinth while the SME arm will go to Canada for repair and rewiring. As time goes by I will post on the progress but in the meantime I’m going to touch on the much discussed subject of vinyl versus CD etc…

I have been playing Vinyl, CDs, Digital Audio files (aiffs, mp3s etc) on the stereo at home when I have a minute – usually later at night. So far, I have been playing the vinyl on a turntable I received courtesy of Jon Mele, who also happens to play the drums in the O’Rourkestra. Even with the turntable being as Jon described, the weakest link in my system – vinyl still sounds the best on it. Or wait, does it? The answer is yes until I started playing flac (lossless audio) & aiffs on a Logitech Squeezebox server. The Squeezebox sounded good by itself, playing flacs from a usb flash drive or using and HP MediaSmart server BUT it wasn’t until I got an Emotiva DAC recently that I started to hear audio that rivaled vinyl for sound imaging and sound stage. I rate vinyl and DAC treated audio files top of the charts followed closely by SACDs so maybe vinyl will seize the lead again when the Garrard is brought back to action!

More soon…


 Posted by at 8:08 pm
Mar 122011

Among the new music I hope to include soon at the Zinc is a commission (in progress now) for guitarist Hugh Buckley and the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra. The tune is Hugh’s composition “When Wes Was” and will be featured in the upcoming March 28th performance in Dublin’s National Concert Hall by The DCJO led by Ciarán Wilde and Ray Martin. I plan on including other charts I did for the DCJO collaboration with Mary Coughlan soon too.

The format for the Zinc is beginning to take shape now. A typical night will go like this:
6:30-7:30pm The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra members play a set (after pizza has been consumed :))
8-9pm The O’Rourkestra plus vocalists Jennifer O’Rourke, Nina D’Alessandro and a monthly guest vocalist.
9:30-??? O’Rourkestra plus Joseph Walsh and various guest artists.
11:30pm The tradition of the late set is kept alive when yours truly along with Jon Mele, Alex Hernandez, Eddie Allen and George Mesterhazy/Fintan O’Neill begin a small group set.

Come down and check us out on the first Wednesday of every month.


 Posted by at 8:15 pm