now playing: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: In the Moment
It’s a compelling conversation between two musicians through their instruments, this second collaboration between fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas The music is at times a bit more laid back than the driving stuff on that earlier recording, but that only adds interest -- and there’s more than enough fire to keep any Celtic music fan happy. Fraser’s a fiddler, from Scotland, an acknowledged master and gifted teacher; Haas is an American cellist whose training includes both classical music and Celtic. Fraser wrote many of the pieces here, including the high powered opener, Valley of the Moon Reel, and the lively and thoughtful tribute to his dad which closes the collection, Rob Fraser’s Welcome to San Francisco. Hanneke Cassel, whose work you’ve met before here at Music Road, adds graceful piano to the latter track. Of the dozen other tunes [it’s an all instrumental album] one that Haas composed, Between, is a standout, but really, they’re all worth the listening, and more than once. And if you ever get the chance to see Fraser and Haas live, take it -- they really are in the moment with the music and their listeners when they play.
In the Moment was among my choices for best albums of 2007. to see what else made the list, look here.. Fraser and Haas played a really inspired show at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow recently, too. More on that to come.