Album Review - Eileen O' Brien / Aon le h'Aon

Aon le h'Aon has been a project in the making for Eileen O' Brien for some time. Wishes by friends and acquaintances to put down on record the music of her late father Paddy O' Brien have finally been granted.  The album, comprising  of 20 tracks is a collection of some of Paddy's many compositions.  For real music enthusiasts who really want to learn these great tunes, there is the added benefit of having the notation in  "The Definitive Collection of the Music of Paddy O' Brien 1922-1991" which has already been published.  Paddy's work has been described by Eileen herself as a "wonderful gift for composition" and he has been recognised by musicians and teachers both here and abroad for a magnificent body of work.  For Eileen the decision to finally record some tracks must have been a difficult one.  How do you do justice to the man and his music?.

Approaching it as a solo fiddle album was an inspired decision because she has created an album of great new traditional music.  Her playing is clear, solid and at times powerful.  She captures the beauty of his music and you get to appreciate his wonderful compositions.  I have heard many of them over the years but it's only when collected in this manner that you start to appreciate the depth and breath of the great man's music.  To have his daughter create this recording must have left him dancing at the crossroads in his heavenly dreams.  The tunes stand on their own two feet.  Compositions like The Four Leafed Shamrock/Patrick's Night stand out as do the hornpipes The Dapper's Delight/The Pub in the Square.  The Hills of Tipperary/Larrys Favourite are probably more well known and I recall them being taught in London music classes some years ago by some appreciative teachers, as was the hornpipe The Swan on the Lake.
It would be great to see more of the tunes from this album being discovered by today's young musicians and entering into the country's general session repertoire.  This recording does true justice to the man and the playing by Eileen is masterful and concise with strong emotion present throughout.  It's a great collection and will stand as a superb record of the contributions made by two generations of the O' Brien clan.
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