Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson - Partners In Crime (4 stars)

Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson - Partners In Crime

(Vertical Records)


While many piping recordings are primarily of interest to the piping community, this disc follows the lead of Ross Ainslie’s late teacher, Gordon Duncan, in aiming at a more diverse audience. The players are two of the brightest young talents on the current piping scene. They have been playing together for almost five years, and that familiarity with each other’s styles is entirely obvious in the razor-sharp interaction evident on this sparkling debut CD.

The rich interweaving of the contrasting sonorities of their respective pipes and whistles – Ross plays the Border variety, while Jarlath is heard on the Irish Uilleann pipes – is complemented by a range of supporting instruments, including guitar, keyboards, cittern, double bass and drums. The instrumentation combines with their own stylistic approach to the material to give the music a distinctly contemporary feel, but without throwing away the strengths of their traditional roots in the process.

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