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MICK MULVEY 'Within A Mile O' Jamestown' COOLATHUMA 001

Mick Mulvey is an East End Londoner, but you'd never guess it on the evidence of this recording, as it contains some of the best examples of West Coast Irish flute playing that I've heard in a long time. Early exposure to the playing of Seamus Tansey and Matt Molloy intrigued the young Mick, and their influences can be heard in his warm, rolling style.

The counties of Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon have produced many's the grand player in their time, and several of them have also been inspirational to Mick, especially John Daly and John McKenna. The net distillation of all these influences is immediately apparent as this CD takes us through a fine selection, which, not surprisingly, has a good proportion of reels. Now, while Mick's style is such that I could listen to him playing solo reels for hours on end, a word or two here about his accompanying musicians would not be amiss.

The essence of accompanists is that they accompany, and do not detract from the lead instrument. This recording shows just how that should be done. In particular, the arrangements with Simon Wroe on guitar allow the strings to give an edge which not only offsets the fluidity of the flute, but helps drive the tunes along at a cracking pace. Top marks also to fiddlers Brian Rooney and Karen Ryan, and pianists Pete Quinn and Reg Hall.

A flute player to look out for.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 56 of The Living Tradition magazine.