Fraser Fifield Trio,
Slow Stream
(Tanar, 2005)

Edinburgh-based multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield is one of Scotland's most talented and innovative musicians. His latest album, Slow Stream, was recorded on Jan. 10-11, 2005, at Castelsound Studio near Edinburgh "as live" with Stuart Ritchie on drums and percussion and Graeme Stephen on electric guitar and guitar loops. Fifield later gave the final touch to the album in his home studio and the result is spectacular.

The CD features 14 instrumental tracks, 10 compositions by Fifield, three traditional tunes and one track by Patrick Og MacCrimmon. Fifield plays low whistles and soprano sax as well as different recorded sounds. It is difficult to appoint his music to a style, but I think the traditional impact and the jazzy elements are strongest, although there are also psychedelic as well as world music influences.

The first and title track "Slow Stream" is also my favourite, a hauntingly beautiful and melancholic tune with sublime soprano sax playing. Rhythmic and jazzy tracks alternate with traditional tunes like strathspey or polska. Fifield's compositions show brilliant rhythm changes and are perfect showcases for the talented musicians.

Another great tune is "South of Here" with Fifield's melodic and beautiful whistle playing. The traditional tracks are samples from Scandinavia ("Are Polska"), Ireland ("The Leitrim Fancy/The Cockled Old Man") and Brittany ("Suite de Larides"). The CD ends with "Dark Reel," a reel played in a very jazzy and funky way.

Frazer Fifield's current release is a must for everyone who loves inspired folk music fused with other styles. He and his two co-musicians have recorded a wonderful album with exceptional compositions.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Adolf Goriup

29 September 2007

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