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VARIOUS ARTISTES - "Magic And Mystery" - Temple COMD2062

Subtitled "Majestic music from Scotland and Ireland", this is a sampler gleaned from the impressive Temple Records archives, featuring several present and former Battlefield members, Mac-Talla, Maire Ni Chathasaigh and others of that high standard.

The musicianship cannot, therefore, be faulted. What about the music then? Not all is traditional, there being an even mixture of more modern compositions, but all very definitely in the traditional style, with a common melodic heritage shared throughout.

Quite often, when a group records an album of mostly fast material, the detail of slower numbers can be missed by the listener. This CD is a delight from start to finish, requiring you to sit down, relax and let the full gracefulness sweep over you - not in the sense of background music, but in the sense of sheer quality both of material and playing. Only one name was not immediately know to me, that of Eric Rigler, who recorded a version of "A Stor Mo Chroi" for this album on uillean pipes, and a cracking version it is, too.

Congratulations to Robin Morton for a thoughtfully and tastefully put-together selection of tunes that really do merit the title "majestic".

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 20 of The Living Tradition magazine.