Ross Little delights with a new EP that brilliantly brings together jazz and folk, underpinned by some magnificent musicianship.
Release date: Available Now
Label: Self – released (Bandcamp)
Corrimony is the debut EP by composer and musician Ross Little. The music on the EP is inspired by the landscape near his home village of Corrimony on the banks of Loch Ness.
The six instrumental tracks, beautifully merge elements of jazz and folk, in a unique musical reflection and representation of various locations in the landscape of Corrimony. The melding of jazz and folk is a musical journey that encompasses, to name but a few artists, the pioneering work of Pentangle, through John Martyn’s classic 1970s albums such as Solid Air and Inside Out, up to in the present day, the music of artists like Blue Rose Code. Ross Little, with this immensely enjoyable EP, continues this exciting path of musical exploration and experimentation.
Stac is the opening track on the EP. It is led initially by Ross Little’s accordion, giving the piece a wistful lament like quality. When Ross Little’s piano and Rob McLaughlin’s guitar come in, the musical mood evolves, with some beautiful musical phrases played by both musicians, that convey forward movement and hope.
Old Corrimony features Chris Rasdale’s sublime fiddle playing, and together with Ross Little’s accompanying piano, it has a wonderfully romantic tone. The two instruments are in perfect harmony with each other, as the musical tale of love for a 1740 Georgian building, and its sense of warmth and encapsulation of lives lived, unfolds.
Shallager is a tribute to a much loved labrador, inspired by an inscription on a gravestone. Ross Little’s piano fills on this track are just exquisite and convey a wonderful atmosphere of playfulness, which feels very fitting to the subject matter.
Carnoch is a musical reflection on a recently abandoned and decaying cottage. It has in the subtle interaction between the guitar and piano, the feel of a conversation around reminiscences of a once cherished past. The rhythm section of Finlay Smith on drums and percussion and Neil Martin on bass, provide some lovely, brushed rhythms, which subtly change pace as the piece moves into an anthemic coda where piano, guitar and accordion ascend together.
The penultimate track on the EP, Reflection, resonates of a quite space surrounding a lone tree, which can be seen to striking effect in the album cover art. It features some marvelous bass work from James Lindsay and the fabulous ethereal vocals of Bethan Sexton. Instruments and voice blend perfectly, in this jazz based contemplative ballad. On this track and on some others on the EP, Ross Little does this breath-taking thing of introducing an almost imperceptible short pause or space within a track before the music resumes. It adds considerably to the dynamic presentation of the music and is to be much applauded.
Suidh Ghuirmein is the name of a hill and represents probably the most upbeat and traditionally folk based track. Ross Little’s accordion deftly leads the charge on this magnificent folk reel, which also has a wonderfully crafted and fluent guitar solo from Rob McLaughlin. In the closing bars of the piece, the drums and bass thrillingly hit overdrive, another example of fine playing by the rhythm section of Finlay Smith and Neil Martin.
This is a truly great record. Seek it out and discover the pleasure of listening to musicians who are not afraid to blend and play with musical traditions, creating in the process music that will absolutely delight and captivate. Ross Little is clearly a major talent, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
You can listen to Shallager with the album artwork here:
Ross Little: Bandcamp
Categories: EP Review