Sleeve not available Sleeve not available
SHEILA GARRY & BRID CRNITCH "Irish Session Tunes" Blue CD OSSCD132
"Irish Session Tunes" Orange CD OSSCD133

Here are two beautifully presented recordings with no less than 155 minutes of mainly Irish music, very ably played by Sheila, with sympathetic, non-intrusive keyboard accompaniment.

All the standard session reels are here, and at a speed very helpful to the learner, so if you'd rather hear the music than leaf through the manuscript, this is for you.

Some reservations about the current tendency to standardise the music are assuaged by the fact that some tunes do belong in a sequence, and these will not be in any book I know of. Also if we're talking social music, such continuity is a help to anyone seeking order and logic in the perceived chaos of the Irish session. The sheer mass of tunes can be very dispiriting-Captain Francis O'Neil seriously understated it at 1001!

The two CDs contain 76 tracks, 51 being reels and 19 jigs, which sadly doesn't leave room for much else. However, this is, for better or worse, a pretty fair reflection of the current state of the Irish Session.

If you can afford only one of their CDs the orange one has 29 reel sets in the 36 tracks, which may affect your choice.

The sleeve notes are clear enough, being merely a list of the 200 or so tunes on the two CDs, but after all, the music's the thing!

Jim Bainbridge

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.