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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

 




Crotchet
Jim Mullen

BURNS

black box BBJ2016

  1. Count the Lawin’
  2. Banks and Braes
  3. Bonnie Wee Thing
  4. Comin’ Through the Rye
  5. Willie Gray
  6. The Lea Rig
  7. Sweet Afton
  8. For the Sake of Somebody
  9. Lassie Lie Near Me
  10. A Man’s a Man
  11. Red, Red Rose

Jim Mullen – Guitar
Gareth Williams – Piano
Mick Hutton – Bass
Gary Husband – Drums
Jim Mullen says

"This album takes me back to my roots with the songs of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. I’ve known many of these songs since my childhood and have attempted to update them from a jazz perspective. Burns had an ear for a good tune and gathered memorable melodies to grace his poetry. I was struck by the soulfullness of these centuries-old songs and feel they have an emotional resonance with the present"

This is Jim’s latest album and I copied the above from the sleeve, because I thought it tells the listener exactly what the music is about. Does it work this updating of traditional tunes? For most people it doesn’t, but this is not a quartet of ordinary musicians Gareth Williams, Mick Hutton, Gary Husband and Jim Mullen are capable of producing interesting music on any theme. The previous Disney album, which was a delight, made that point comprehensively, these performances are full of emotion and all the solos are interesting. Everyone sounds relaxed particularly Jim, perhaps being, as far as I am aware, the only Scot he had the greatest empathy with the music.

Gary Husband’s solo on Coming through the Rye is a masterpiece of controlled drumming and I was struck by the inventiveness of Gareth Williams playing on Willie Gray. The programme that puts The Lea Rig and Sweet Afton as tracks 6 and 7 seems a bit odd, as they are both at a similar tempo. Nothing wrong with the performances, but 12.5 minutes at on e tempo seems a lot. The unaccompanied Red, Red, Rose at the end is beautifully played.
 
Don Mather

 
 
 
 



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