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RON JAPPY - Vincular 

RON JAPPY - Vincular 
Bow Fiddle Records BWFDR001 

Now based in Glasgow, but with his feet firmly planted in his native north east of Scotland, Ron Jappy must be one on the country’s more versatile musicians. Apart from his original instrument, the fiddle, he specialises in the acoustic guitar, piano and organ, and is equally in demand as an arranger and accompanist. He brings all aspects of his musical personality into play in this, his first solo album.

There is a lot going on here. One of the advantages he has is his easy access to all the accomplished musicians he has helped out in the past - names like Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Skerryvore and Rachel Hair to name just a few of the more familiar. Notable among the skills brought to the party is Scott Wood’s assertive piping (Jappy has played in his highly rated band and now it is payback time), with the two being heard to best advantage on the seductive track, Ashley Park, inspired by the marching rhythms of pipe bands. Other musical textures include a full string section and even a smidgeon of electric guitar in places.

Although this is essentially an instrumental collection, it does contain a couple of songs - one each in English and Scots Gaelic. Both are sung by another long-term collaborator, Ainsley Hamill, who’s outstanding even at a time when there is an abundance of Scottish female singers.

This is all high-class stuff. Indeed, the only point at which it rather lost me was a track Jappy calls Interlude. To my ear, it contains what sounds like the worst ever attack of capo scrape. Not to worry. By definition, it doesn’t last very long and the rest of the album is absolutely fine.

Dave Hadfield


This review appeared in Issue 138 of The Living Tradition magazine