James Last In Ireland

By James Last, orchestra - and several guests

Added by Kenny .

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Ten comments

Re: James Last In Ireland

Go on then, Kenny, tell us what this recording does for you.

Re: James Last In Ireland

Go on then, DonaldK, tell us why so patronising.

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Re: James Last In Ireland

I don’t see it as patronising, but since no-one is required to make any comment whatsoever on why they post any recording, in this instance, I won’t.

Posted by .

Re: James Last In Ireland

It’s just that, Kenny, if I remember correctly, you have pulled people up for posting recordings without comment. (Having said that, I must confess that my memory is often suspect, so it could have been someone else.) Perhaps you are trying to make a point.

ajp, it wasn’t intended to be patronising.

Re: James Last In Ireland

Seeing as I’ve been asked to comment on this recording, I will.
I became aware of this LP, later CD, through a 1986 issue of Comhaltas’s magazine "Treoir". I found the CD on eBay for under £3, so bought it. James Last had the good sense to consult with Comhaltas for this recording , and they sent a group of 11 very fine players to take the lead on the instrumental sets. To me, the collaboration worked well, without the orchestra getting in the way, so the sets of reels and jigs are great.
The song/air arrangements by the orchestra don’t work nearly as well, far too over-arranged and downright "syrupy", but if you find the CD, it’s certainly worth £3 for the traditional dance music tracks.
Comhaltas representatives were :

Brid Harper - fiddle
Jimmy McGreevy - accordion
Tommy Guihan - flute
Dermot Kenny - whistle/flute
Michelle O’Sullivan - concertina
Seamus Meehan - piano-accordion
Gerry Murphy - banjo
Fiontain O’Meachair - mandolin
Eoin Kenny - uilleann pipes
Niall Callinan - bouzouki
Seamus MacMathuna - singer

I’ll play the reel set [track #2 ] on our radio programme a week tomorrow. I’ll add the link when the programme has been uploaded, and you can judge for yourselves.

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Re: James Last In Ireland

Thanks, Kenny. I had hoped there was a good reason for posting the recording.

Re: James Last In Ireland

Oh ye of little faith…………………. 🙂

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Re: James Last In Ireland

Kenny; It was well worth time listing this, and possibly even time listening to it. At least a few bits of it.
I skipped all the songs, and couldn’t bear the jigs for more than a few seconds. Especially when the drum kit (with dominant kick drum) joins in with the rather stilted, not very ‘jiggy’ jig time.

The reels on tracks 2 , 6 and 8 are ‘interesting’. At least they swing along nicely, and the dominant kick drum isn’t so different to someone in a session banging down their foot on the first beat of each bar,

I know many who will hate the heavily arranged style, especially when the soaring string section accompaniment joins in. Its a long way from my preferred listening of ‘pure drop’ trad, but I also enjoy the likes of ‘Blazing fiddles’ and Liz Doherty’s ‘Fiddlestcks’ with their multiple unison fiddles. Assuming it is James Last’s regular ‘violin’ section on this recording, they certainly manage to play these reels with conviction, and with a similar feel to that of ‘Fiddlesticks’ et al.

This recording is certainly no ‘recommended buy’, but for the curious, worth listening for free on the Youtube link above, or on Spotify. Maybe save yourself time, and possibly some pain, by only sampling the reel tracks.

Re: James Last In Ireland

Just as a matter of interest this was the first “Irish Music CD” I ever bought. Reason, apart from the fact I like Irish music: it was probably the first CD on sale in the UK that featured anything like ITM. This was in 1986 (Polydor West Germany). Cost a small fortune. Still plays with a very good sound!