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'D' Flute Album

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Album Review

Crawford's mastery of a notoriously difficult instrument at such a young age is remarkable in and of itself; that he brings his virtuosity to bear on these tunes with such grace and so little unnecessary flashiness is even more so. He plays with the astringent, reedy tone favored by almost all Irish flutists, and his playing is so precise that at times it sounds almost programmed; he tosses off multiple ornaments as if it were as simple as breathing. His performances of old favorites like "The Sligo Maid" and "Toss the Feathers" bring new life to a sometimes tired-sounding repertoire, and when he switches to a bamboo flute to play "Green Fields of Rossbeigh" and "The New Policeman," one wonders at the fact that a musical tradition able to absorb the bouzouki without a problem has yet to take further advantage of that dark, sweet-sounding instrument. Crawford's bodhran playing is excellent as well. If there is any complaint at all to be made about this album, it is that the program's preponderance of reels leads to a certain homogeneity; a few more jig sets and slow airs would have been nice. (The album's one slow air is also the only Crawford composition, and it's absolutely gorgeous.) Highly recommended.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Best known for his work with the groups Lunasa (1999's Otherworld and 2001's Merry Sisters of Fate) and Moving Cloud (1995's self-titled release and 1998's Foxglove), Celtic flutist Kevin Crawford has also issued a pair of solo releases for the Green Linnet label. The D Flute Album was issued in 1995, while its follow-up, In Good Company, was released six years later and featured a lengthy cast of guest musicians — Martin Hayes (fiddle, viola), Mick Connelly (fiddle, bouzouki), Arty McGlynn...
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