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MAURICE LENNON - The Little Ones

MAURICE LENNON - The Little Ones
Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD193

Time to admit to the ultimate sin of reviewers – bias (shock, horror!) I have yet to come across a CD on this label which didn’t impress me mightily, so I was expecting high standards. Of course, I shouldn’t have been bothered, as this is as good as it gets, but what would you expect from someone with the pedigree of Maurice Lennon? With father, Ben, a master of the Leitrim fiddle style and Uncle Charlie a composer, piano accompanist and fiddler of note, there was always a chance that Maurice would pick up a few tips here and there. His career, from Stockton’s Wing onwards has proved that beyond all doubt.

This is Maurice’s first solo fiddle release, recorded in the little spare time he gets from teaching and coaching musicians in the States, and is testimony to his craftsmanship. He plays viola as well as his beloved fiddle and is accompanied here by Charlie Lennon on piano, fiddle and viola; Noel O’Grady, bouzouki; Ben Lennon, fiddle, Garry Ó Briain, guitar; Paul Roche, whistle; Eamon McElholm, piano; and Jim DeWan, guitars.

Maurice’s playing style is as crisp and clean as you could ask for, every nuance of every note making itself felt, whether in driving reels or sensitive slow airs. Here is a player completely at home with his material, bringing out all the feeling needed to properly empathise with the sentiments. Take a listen to the Miss McLeod’s / The Cup of Tea set, where, by changing from the fiddle to the viola, Maurice brings a new freshness and vitality to two well-loved pieces without compromising any of their original feeling.

A highly recommended addition to anyone’s music collection.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.