Jimmy Shand & His Band - A Scottish Fancy



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Jimmy Shand & His Band
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The longest of the medleys on this album is entitled "Quiet and Snug: Strathspey," and that's a wee but right-on description of the playing style of this Scottish accordion legend, Jimmy Shand. His dynamics can be described as akin to the course of a small craft making its way into a loch: steady as she goes. His band here, although completely uncredited in terms of identities and instruments, sounds like simple bass and drums backup. Of course, nothing is so simple like keeping the beat the way this bassist does. Note to bassists at large: Don't you wish you could do this? Part of it is a kind of a psychic connection with Shand's right hand, which does this wonderful thing where it both emphasizes and flutters around the beat, waiting for the bassist to finish the job like someone pinning a notice to a bulletin board. Of course, all this happens in a fraction of a second, but like all classic musical relationships, it suggests an eternity. Shand's activities as an improviser within the themes chosen are mild-mannered. Basically, what he does here is organize medleys on various themes, some of them based on related styles of music, and expertly connects the dots between the different songs as they fall together. It is beautiful playing, without pretense or compromise, not daring unless the listener accepts the proposition that it is daring to play in this manner. It is doubtful Shand took that attitude, however -- this is more a music about tradition, and about the ease of carrying on in this manner once one has come completely to grips with the demands of the genre. The tunes are about half Shand originals, the balance of both traditional numbers and compositions by greats such as J. Scott Skinner. Listeners looking for a laid-back but fulfilling program of Scottish pieces should feel no reluctance to grab the hand of Shand. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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1) White Heather Jig (02:46)
2) Grosvenor House: Strathspey (03:12)
3) The Campbells Are Coming (02:16)
4) Balmoral Strathspey (04:06)
5) Miss Hadden' Reel (04:22)
6) Quiet and Snug: Strathspey (08:13)
7) Hooper's Jig (04:20)
8) Waltz Country Dance (03:16)
9) Galloway House: Reel (04:24)

A Scottish Fancy
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A Scottish Fancy | Jimmy Shand & His Band

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