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Private Label GS001

Emmett Gill, who plays uillean pipes, was born in London and first learnt at the Camden Irish Centre, going on to develop a particular interest in dance music, being influenced by artists who recorded during the period of 78rpm records. Jesse Smith is a fiddle player from Baltimore, where he learned from the peerless Brendan Mulvihill and from his mother, Donna Long, and he has played with Danu amongst others.

On this cracking CD, the two get together for some good tight duet playing. Emmett’s pipes are a three-quarter set pitched in C which gives a deep round tone throughout, and their playing is so consistently tight that there’s not an errant note anywhere. Just to let you appreciate them individually, Jesse plays the Yellow Tinker / Girl Who Broke My Heart set solo, allowing the nuanced subtleties of his playing to really stand out, whilst Emmet solos on the next track, The Kilfenane Jig / Allistrum’s March, again allowing the listener to appreciate all the turns and variations.

The material is drawn from a range of sources, such as O’Neills Music of Ireland, the Dunne collection and the Joyce collection, as well as from individual players such as Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey, Brendan Breathnach and Paddy Cronin. Irrespective of the sources, the tunes are consistently played in a way that reflects the obvious love of their music that this pair have, as well as the respect and understanding they have for each other, with subtle ornamentation, making this a joy to listen to.

This would be a worthwhile addition to any collection.

Gordon Potter


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.