The Pure Genius of James Morrison

By James Morrison

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The Pure Genius of James Morrison

This is the James Morrison (1891-1947) of Ballymote, Co. Sligo who emigrated to the USA in the 1920s and acquired a well-deserved stupendous reputation as an Irish musician in New York in the 1930s and ’40s.
This recording is a 1978 compilation under the Shanachie label (33004) of recordings on 78s made by Morrison in the ’20s and ’30s. I do not know whether there is a later cassette or CD version of this Shanachie LP.

Shanachie mention on their LP sleeve that they have deliberately not reduced the noise on the old 78s (some of which exist in only one or two copies) because they found that subduing the noise would obscure somewhat the definition of Morrison’s bowing. So, "The decision was made to try and live with a somewhat higher than normal noise content in order to better communicate the distinctive genius of one of the greatest Irish musicians of all time."

On the sleeve of the Shanachie LP there is a rarity: the dots of a complete tune — James Morrison’s setting of "The Job of Journeywork", which I have posted in the Tunes section.