CD Review – Michael McGoldrick – Aurora
With an international career as an in demand session musician for figures from Peter Gabrielle and Mark Knopfler, and full time membership with Capercaillie, and membership with a number of other musicial ensembles, it is a wonder that Michael McGoldrick has found time to release another album, after the success of his two previous record efforts, Wired and Fused, but Aurora is still here.
Around his masterful flute, uillean pipes, and low whistles, and way with a good tune, he has assembled a cast of an all star backing band, from John Joe Kelly on Bodhran, keyboard player Donald Shaw, Dezi Donnelly on Fiddle, Neil Yates on Trumpets, Ed Boyd on Guitar, and Ewen Vernal Basses, whilst the list of contributing musicians is equally as impressive. Saxophonist Tommy Smith, fiddle player John McCusker, the Lunny brothers, Manus and Donal on Bouzouki and guitars, harmonica player Brendan Power, whilst the vocals of Heidi Talbot are used to good effect on the albums only vocal piece – Waterbound.
As well as traditional sounding themes, an element of jazz has crept in, from the horns that open the album on ‘Freefalling’ whilst Funk slips comfortably into ‘Turin Dre’ McGoldrick has written the lion’s share of the pieces on the album, but they sit well alongside more traditional pieces, such as ‘Stone of Destiny’ and the pieces that make up ‘Mickey’s Reel’. Slower moods also feature the Low Whistle, such as ‘Anam Cara’.
This is a powerful release, full of spirited playing on the livelier pieces, and thoughtful, graceful tunes in the slower moments, and it is one to look out for, if you have been a fan of McGoldrick’s work with Capercaillie.