This is simply an extraordinary document. The famous Co. Sligo fiddle player James Morrison, well-known for his spectacular 78rpm recordings from the 1920s and 1930s, was also for many years one of the leading teachers of Irish traditional music in New York. I had heard years ago, from a former student of Morrison, that "the professor," as he was known, wrote out tunes for his students, complete with ornamentation and bowing, but I had never seen those manuscripts. Evidently, others among his former students had kept those treasured manuscripts, and we are very lucky that one set has now been published in this facsimile edition. Besides providing an insight into how "the professor" taught, his settings of tunes, his bowing technique, etc, we also get an idea of what the repertoire of an Irish fiddle player transplanted to an urban American setting would have been in the early decades of the 20th century. There are reels, jigs, and hornpipes, of course, but also waltzes and fox-trots, the kinds of tunes, a dance player would have had to know to satisfy his dance-hall customers. There is an index of tune titles, and a short introduction by the compiler, with great old photographs. Just fascinating!

Paperback, spiral, over 160 tunes, 190pp., photos, index

Rating: **** 1/2

Price: $30.00Recommended
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