CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Jim Mullen


black box BBJ2016

  1. Count the Lawiní
  2. Banks and Braes
  3. Bonnie Wee Thing
  4. Cominí Through the Rye
  5. Willie Gray
  6. The Lea Rig
  7. Sweet Afton
  8. For the Sake of Somebody
  9. Lassie Lie Near Me
  10. A Manís a Man
  11. Red, Red Rose

Jim Mullen Ė Guitar
Gareth Williams Ė Piano
Mick Hutton Ė Bass
Gary Husband Ė Drums
Jim Mullen says

"This album takes me back to my roots with the songs of Robert Burns, Scotlandís national poet. Iíve known many of these songs since my childhood and have attempted to update them from a jazz perspective. Burns had an ear for a good tune and gathered memorable melodies to grace his poetry. I was struck by the soulfullness of these centuries-old songs and feel they have an emotional resonance with the present"

This is Jimís latest album and I copied the above from the sleeve, because I thought it tells the listener exactly what the music is about. Does it work this updating of traditional tunes? For most people it doesnít, but this is not a quartet of ordinary musicians Gareth Williams, Mick Hutton, Gary Husband and Jim Mullen are capable of producing interesting music on any theme. The previous Disney album, which was a delight, made that point comprehensively, these performances are full of emotion and all the solos are interesting. Everyone sounds relaxed particularly Jim, perhaps being, as far as I am aware, the only Scot he had the greatest empathy with the music.

Gary Husbandís solo on Coming through the Rye is a masterpiece of controlled drumming and I was struck by the inventiveness of Gareth Williams playing on Willie Gray. The programme that puts The Lea Rig and Sweet Afton as tracks 6 and 7 seems a bit odd, as they are both at a similar tempo. Nothing wrong with the performances, but 12.5 minutes at on e tempo seems a lot. The unaccompanied Red, Red, Rose at the end is beautifully played.
Don Mather


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: