Album Review - Danny & Aki / Music From the Irish, American and Nordic Traditions

The gentle sway of a Finnish minuet followed by two slides from the playing of  Denis Murphy from Sliabh Luachra would seem like an unusual combination.  Not so, especially in the hands of Danny Diamond and Aki on this their new duet album.  They delve into the musical traditions of Ireland and America and mix it up with music from the Nordic tradition. Predominately accordion and fiddle this musical exploration reveals the dept and beauty in the music.  With pin point arrangements and their  instruments in perfect unison it is a real treat for the ears.  Jigs like The Dancing Master/Munster Buttermilk/The Hag at the Churn are lovingly played in an unhurried fashion. Of the 11 tracks and 24 tunes, about half are from the Irish tradition. The balance is made up of tracks that include a polska from Finland, a Norwegian and Dutch waltz and schottische with some American old time tunes  included for good measure. The Norwegian and Dutch waltz's titled Norwegian Waltz and Wals voor Jack are gentle and engaging pieces. The Irish material likewise sparkles with its simple approach springing from the deliberate restraint by the musicians.

t's a beautiful album for its unpretentious approach to the music. Tight fiddle and accordion arrangements help reveal the depth within the tunes and bring out their inner melodic beauty. Pacing is reserved, with no need to inject frantic reels in order to give the album a counterpoint. Its theme and scope is set in the minds of the musicians and they bravely stick to their concept and protect the artistic integrity of their endeavor. For this we are thankful, because the result is an album that stands out. It is interesting and beautifully played. There is an atmospheric timelessness to the recording, and you leave it knowing you have heard something different and rewarding. Traditional at its core, with external influences that integrate seamlessly into the musical tapestry created by the players, it is a worthy and rewarding experience.


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