Bourcier, Julin & Wolff,
Live at St. Andrew's
(self-produced, 2000)

OK, I admit it. I relied too heavily on the title and expected to have Scottish melodies spring from the disc. After listening to three scatty jazz songs and no bagpipes, I pulled the liner notes, which read, "Recorded live at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Beulah, Michigan." Beulah, Michigan! No wonder there were no bagpipes. What there is, however, is an accomplished accordion, a big bad bass and humming mandolin.

Here we have a live album (not usually my favorite forum for music), artists I have never heard of (Tom Bourcier, Glenn Wolff and Don Julin), and music I don't ever listen to (this is not usually my kind of jazz, i.e., David Sanborn, Chuck Mangione) -- but yet, we've got style, talent and bounce.

We've got ten cool songs ("Walking With Amanda Lynn," "The Islanders," "White Hair and Wisdom," "Nightbirds," "Evening Prayer Blues," "Gdaanjgen," "Mr. Natural," "Coat of Arms," "Hee Haw Hoe Down"), and a fast-paced, BJW rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown." All in all, not a bad deal here.

Had these instrumentals been adulterated with bad vocals, I may have dissed the album. But the songs have their own merits. Surprisingly, I think I'll hold onto this disc for times when I want to feel the cool.

[ by Lynne Remick ]
Rambles: 19 April 2002

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