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East meets East

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Album Review

As a classical violinist, Nigel Kennedy has always cultivated a very careful reputation as a rebel (scruffy beard, spiky hair, no bow tie) while making a comfortable living playing a generally pretty safe repertoire; audiences who wouldn't cross the street to hear genuinely difficult music by Elliott Carter or Michael Tippett could go listen to the T-shirted Kennedy play The Four Seasons and feel like they were on the cutting edge. Outside the classical arena, his projects have been a bit more interesting, and none has been more affecting than this eerily lovely collection of new compositions and folk tunes drawing on Polish and other Eastern European traditions. Teamed up with the Krakow band Kroke (violist and flutist Tomasz Kukurba, accordionist Jerzy Bawol, and string bassist Tomasz Lato), Kennedy delivers a set of tunes that are, by turns, dramatic, soothing, emotionally tormented, and romantically yearning. Lullaby for Kamila and One Voice are not only two of the loveliest performances of Kennedy's recorded career, they are also two of the most gently affecting compositions committed to tape in any genre in recent memory. Ajde Jano features a beautiful cameo appearance by the brilliant (and recently ubiquitous) singer Natacha Atlas, and Kukush showcases Kennedy's electric violin in a very sonically interesting setting. (As does T 4.2, though the latter is much less musically interesting than Kukush.) Highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

influence and inspiration

this man shows his heritage and his influence of other cultures as well as his love for his talent in a dazzling display in this album.

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