of Whats Afoot
reviews Scatter Pipes by Vicki Swan & Jonny DyerVicky Swan and Jonny Dyer are a perfect blending of musical talents, having been playing together for over ten years both as a duo and as part of Serious Kitchen. Whilst I personally consider Vicky Swan to be the principle exponent of the Scottish Smallpipes ` south of the border, she is also an extremely accomplished flautist and double bass player. Jonny Dyer exhibits outstanding technical ability in his supporting guitar work and also tastefully applies his Pigin72 accordion on a number of tracks.
This CD is not just about Scottish smallpiping. It is a CD packed full with musical delights, songs, superlative smallpiping, brilliant guitar and flute
laying and beautiful innovative compositions. In act out of the eleven total tracks only six are of pure piping. On tracks, 3 7 and 11, Jonny Dyer sings The Hares Laent, The Trooper and the Maid, and Seven Little Gypsies respectively. Jonny has a clear mellow appealing voice and uses it to give an imaginative and contemporary interpretation to the three songs.
Vicky Swans piping is everything that one would expect from a musician of this calibre. Her phrasing, gracing of and empathy with the music is a joy to hear. For me, Vicky Swans interpretation of J. Scott Skinners Hector the Hero and Jonny Dyers The Willows can only be described as enchanting.
I have just two small moans. In the first instance, the sleeve notes simply credit Vicky with playing the Scottish Smallpipes and as far as I am able to determine, they are Smallpipes in `A throughout the recording. I would dearly have loved to hear Vicky play the Smallpipes in `D. Secondly, in the latter part of track 11, there is an instance of double-tracking over Vickys flute playing. I feel that it is not necessary and does not enhance the charmingly fluid purity of the flute.
For those readers with a myopic opinion of pipers and piping The Bulgarian Bandit would be a musical revelation. The Bulgarian Bandit has a wonderful Eastern European feel to it with a semi-quaver being missed out in ore bar. To quote the sleeve notes, Wonderful for bodhran players to get completely confused. I, as the reviewer of this CD, am lost in admiration for Vicky Swans technical ability.