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HOWARD AND STEVE YATES "Intonation" YateCD01

On Intonation Steve Yates plays guitar, brother Howard plays banjo. Unusually no other instruments are involved. Both Steve and Howard are masters of their instruments, together they produce outstanding music, reaching boundaries not normally associated with the banjo and guitar combination.

The brothers grew up on a smallholding overlooking Dartmoor where music and music making were obviously an integral part of their environment. We know that their mother played piano, indeed The Scarlatti Sonata that opens this CD is a piece she played when they were children. Their studies, training and sheer hard work has made both consummate individual performers, much respected in many areas of performance, arrangement and composition. However, it is their work together on Intonation that the listener will find amazing, both demanding and rewarding but most of all extremely enjoyable. The brother's obvious pleasure in performing together is contagious.

Their material is very diverse, ranging from the above-mentioned sonata through Irish traditional, bluegrass, a fourteenth century Italian dance and more. All items are very skilfully and intricately arranged by the brothers. But it is the awesome playing, the unbelievable technique and the musical limits to which they take their instruments that makes Intonation such a wonderful listening experience. Your efforts in obtaining this CD will be well rewarded.

I unreservedly recommend the classy and refreshing music on this CD.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 52 of The Living Tradition magazine.