Records - Thoumire & Milligan (4 stars)

SIMON THOUMIRE

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Third Flight Home (Footstompin’ Records)

FOLK

Folk meets jazz and cuts a very acceptable deal in the music of concertina player Simon Thoumire and pianist David Milligan. The pair bring a diverse range of stylistic options to their music. The combination of instruments is an unusual but very effective one, and while both players are capable of considerable instrumental virtuosity, there is never any sense of showing off their skills for the sake of it.

Much of the well-chosen material is drawn from contemporary sources, and the music has a refreshing zest and sparkle that never flags, whether on conventional reels and Strathspeys from the Scottish tradition or more off-the-wall selections like Russian pianist Misha Alperin’s ‘Wedding in the Wild Forest’. Milligan’s jazz expertise adds delightful and surprising harmonic and rhythmic twists to his accompaniments, but he has an equally good feel for the often simpler requirements of the folk material, and never overcooks his embellishments.

(Kenny Mathieson)

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