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PATSY MOLONEY - The Temple In The Glen 

PATSY MOLONEY - The Temple In The Glen 
Private Label PM001

Although this is technically a debut solo album, Patsy Moloney is a well known figure in Irish music circles, admired and respected far beyond his adopted city of Birmingham. He is among the finest exponents of traditional flute playing, combining his native West Limerick style with the dominant traditions of Clare and Sligo, as well as influences from the melting pot of Irish music in Britain. All-Ireland flute champion in the seventies, Patsy has featured on a few recordings since then, and his long career in music was recently recognised by an award from the University of Limerick.

None of this guarantees a great album, of course, but Patsy is a supremely relaxed performer and has impeccable technique - the ease of his playing is obvious on stage or in a session - so it's no surprise that this solo recording is smooth and natural. The flute comes across powerfully, with a clean sound and great tone, whether unaccompanied or delicately backed by Mary Corcoran's piano and Noreen O'Donoghue's harp. Reels, jigs, hornpipes and a couple of slow airs fill 40 minutes with a varied flow of fine tunes, including three of Patsy's own. The rest are classics old and new, one by Josephine Keegan and a couple by Vincent McGrath of County Mayo, most too old to be attributed.

Some tunes stood out for me, either through the playing or the melodies themselves. The Callan Lasses is a great reel, paired here with Paddy Doohry's. There are two lovely Paddy Fahy tunes too, a jig and a hornpipe. Patsy's own slow air, Alanna Your Sleeping, is a charming solo piece, and his final driving reel gives its name to this album. With no sense of rushing, Moloney packs a lot of music into this CD.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.