Cry of the Celts - The Royal Irish Series, Vol. 2
Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of The Royal Irish Regiment
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Unlike the far more traditional first volume of The Royal Irish Series of recordings by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, Faugh-A-Ballagh, which was quite the traditional Irish marching band album, this second volume, Cry of the Celts, is an ambitious and highly eclectic collection. The bagpipes and drums are not entirely missing, and there's plenty of traditional Irish music, but some of that music has a distinctly folk-ish flavor, as a subset of the band called the Blarney Boys makes like a small folk group, complete with vocals. Then there are the jazz selections, Phil Woods' "Sonata for Alto Saxophone," rendered by bandmaster Mark D. Purvey as soloist, and "A Tribute to Harry James," with SSgt DE (Davie) Johnson approximating James' tone on the trumpet. Most surprising is the five-part title work, a classical composition by Ronon Hardiman. Taken together, the lengthy album is a showcase for the many varied talents of this military band, which extend far beyond marching down the field to the sound of bagpipes.