through MusicWeb for £12.00
Our first World Music review takes us to the Northumbrian highlands, places
of majestic beauty and harmony, an area also rich with musical tradition
in its own distinct way. This resplendently recorded disc features 21 short
items, jigs, airs and reels with a few marches thrown in for good reason!
It is obviously not my intention to discuss each item with detail, so I will
limit myself to discussing a few which caught my immediate fancy.
The rousing 'Spirit of the Border' conjures memories of epic battles of yore
whilst the nostalgic wafting of 'The Blackbird', 'Memories of Wallington'
and 'Mrs Jamieson's Favourite' take us back to those old village fireside
tales. The Northumbrian Scottish Smallpipes of Chris Ornston make for some
delightful listening with their distinct and piquant sounds whilst the nostalgic
sounds of the Northumbrian Smallpipes (an instrument akin to Scottish bagpipes)
feature continuously in these traditional pieces.
All performers on this disc are obvious experts in their field and play with
a commitment that is second-to-none. However, the disc is also worth buying
for its extensive 14-page booklet, which apart from providing some informative
and succinct notes about the music also includes some delightful photographs
of the performers with Adrian Schofield making a particular impression! A
good souvenir of all things Northumbrian, this disc continues to preserve
a style and tradition that is essentially English from its very roots.