X:1 — ”John McColl’s Reel,” as played by Natalie MacMaster
From the Traditional Tune Archive:
"Composed by J. Scott Skinner in honor of Pipe Major John McColl (1860-1943), of Oban, who composed a number of famous marches, many still staples of pipe competitions (see his "Mrs. John MacColl," "Argyllshire Gathering (The)," "Jeannie Carruthers," "Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque," and "Clan MacColl (The)" [ https://thesession.org/tunes/13529 ], to name a few). See also Skinner’s march "The Piper King," also written in his honor. In addition to playing the pipes, McColl (sometimes ‘MacColl’) was an accomplished fiddler, Highland dancer, and athlete. In 1880 at age twenty he became piper to MacDonald of Dunach, a small estate south of Oban, enabling him to make a career of his piping and music. He won his first competition in 1881, the Gold Medal at Oban, followed by numerous contest victories for the next twenty years (in dancing as well as piping). In later years McColl removed to Glasgow."
For more information on the man himself:
"John McColl’s," from Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index:
This particular transcription is of Natalie MacMaster’s eminently danceable setting of the tune on her fantastic album "Cape Breton Girl." Doesn’t hurt that it’s a well-composed piping reel anyway, but it’s great to hear MacMaster play it in fine form along with Matt MacIsaac on the bagpipes. It’s the first reel in an Amaj/Amix medley of two strathspeys and four reels. She precedes it with the popular Amaj "Editor’s Favorite" strathspey and follows it with a four part version of "O, She’s Comical" ( https://thesession.org/tunes/4079 ) titled "The Rejected Suitor."
Some other recordings of this tune from Cape Breton artists include:
— "Boomerang," by Troy MacGillivray ( https://thesession.org/recordings/702 )
— "From the Archives," by Dave MacIsaac ( https://thesession.org/recordings/4828 )