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DUNCAN NICOLSON, INGRID & ALLAN HENDERSON "Tuning Phrases" Hypertension HYCD297170

Despite their relative youth, these musicians are already well-known, Duncan from his work with the Tannahill Weavers and Ingrid and Allan from their work as a duo. Here they combine for the first time on record, with Davy Steele producing.

As you might expect, given their Lochaber background, this CD features nearly all Scottish material, and most of that drawn from the Highland repertoire, all of which are particularly suited to the combination of pipes, whistles, clarsach and fiddle that we have here.

There is a grand variety of sets and I am pleased to see that this talented bunch have avoided the trap that so many - and not just young players - fall into, of treating every fast set as a challenge to be completed as quickly as possible. Duncan, Ingrid and Allan show us here just how to give plenty of drive where needed, but not at the expense of the feeling for the music. Sensitivity in the slower numbers is also a feature, which allows the listener to be carried along with the flow of the music.

One little quibble, however. The track "An t-Eilean Muileach" promised Ingrid on vocals something I was looking forward to, but where was she? Unfortunately the vocal track, on the review copy at least, is left somewhere in the editing suite, so I'll have to see them live to find out what her singing is like.

Apart from that, this is a recording that they should be pleased with, and one which should please all those who enjoy Scottish tunes sensitively played.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 21 of The Living Tradition magazine.