OK so I might, on listening to the opening strains of this album have been a bit too prepared to write Chris Stout’s Brazilian Theory project off as a technical step too far but on reflection I’ve been totally seduced by the allure of a cultural mix that was just waiting to be exploited by a member of the ‘folk’ community. If memory serves me right I heard the link of Jazz/Brazilian/Celtic some 20 years before performed by the harp player Deborah Henson-Conant but here it’s Stout’s violin that takes the lead aided and abetted by an A-Class team of musicians including amongst others Catriona McKay (harp), Thomas Rohrer (sax) and Carlinhos Antunes on guitars. For me, not everything goes according to plan particularly when the jarring octave leaps of the violin almost rip the ears off those of us with a gentle disposition but all in all this is an innovative experience that will perhaps take root after repeated plays. In a way, much like Davy Spillane & Andy Irvine’s “East Wind” and The Future Trad Collective these excursions might be taking things a tad too far for the ears of Philistines like me but we’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out with a wider audience.
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