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James Duncan MacKenzie - James Duncan MacKenzie (James MacKenzie Music)

Star rating: 
3

Breabach's James Duncan MacKenzie goes it alone with this his first solo instrumental album. The self-titled debut showcases not only the Isle of Lewis-born musician's prowess on the Highland Bagpipes, but also demonstrates his understanding of the sonic nuances of the wooden flute. The compositions are inspired by travel, the supernatural, family and the landscapes and seascapes of Scotland, each arranged and performed with a little help from his friends, including Matheu Watson (who co-produces) on guitar, Sean Gray also on guitar, Alasdair White on fiddle, Hamish Napier on piano and harmonium, Robert Nairn on accordion and James Lindsay on double bass. It has to be said you don't want to get too close to the speakers when the pipes are in full flow, but the wooden flute pieces offer some beautifully calming moments.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky