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LANDERMASON - Stand Together 

LANDERMASON - Stand Together 
Private Label LAMA009 

This is a fusion album that muddies the water’s edge and crosses the frontiers of several musical genres: “Folk meets jazz”, “Country pop”, “Swingy jazz”, a “Bluesy number” are the epithets used to describe four of the tracks. Certainly, the production values on this CD, the sixth by the duo Landermason – Fiona Lander and Paul Mason - live up to these different musical categories. The recordings are finely crafted, with a great deal of attention given to the soft and sophisticated arrangements and overall mellow sound. Paul Mason’s vocal provides an anchor for Fiona Lander to soar above and beyond the melody. The multifaceted and talented duo has arranged the tracks utilizing piano, saxophones, clarinet, whistles, acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele and ebow. The extensive influences inherent in the work are as diverse as The Mike Sammes Singers from the 60s to Robert Conti’s jazz guitar with elements of Enya thrown in for good measure.

The CD contains eight original songs and two re-arrangements which have been given the classic Landermason make-over. Stood Up In The Rain does what it says on the tin and is the only track with an added vocal line of “willing local volunteers” who are featured singing along. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best option for a song lyric and more acceptable than the homespun, hackneyed “To live in peace and security, Free from war and tyranny, ‘Cos every young man with a gun, Is a mother’s son, There’s still work to be done”, as featured in the words of the first number and title track on the album.

This is mood music at its best, a worthy successor to the previous five albums and eminently suitable for those quiet evenings in front of the fire with a glass of something warm and inviting.

John Oke Bartlett

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.