Jack Coen: flute
Jimmy Coen: guitar

East Galway and New York flute player Jack Coen probably doesn't need any introduction. Like that of Mike Rafferty, his music is regarded as an important example of the genuine tradition of rural Ireland, and more specifically of the distinct style associated with East Galway. This CD, released just before Christmas 2001, pairs Jack Coen with his son Jimmy on guitar. Not as an accompanist, however, as Jimmy picks the tunes along with his father's flute playing. And there lies my reservation about this album. Jimmy Coen plays well enough and does follow his father's settings pretty much note for note, but I do not find the marriage of melodic guitar and flute especially compelling. Even more problematic perhaps is the discrepancy between the old traditional intonation heard in Jack's playing and the tempered intonation of the fretted guitar; after a while, I found the conflicting pitches grating on my ear. Get this one to hear genuine traditional flute playing or to hear a very good approach to playing Irish tunes on the guitar, but be ready for some conflict between the two along the way.

Rating: ***

Price: $16.99
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1. Reels: The Blackthorn / The Boy on the Hilltop
2. Single Jigs: Palm Sunday / Rath Amhain
3. Reels: The Sailor's Jacket / Roll Her on the Mountain
4. Mo Mhathair
5. Jigs: The Road to Ballinakill / Humours of Whiskey
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8. Jigs: Garrett Barry's / Eddie Moloney's
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14. Jigs: Jig of Port Fleadh / Willy Walsh's Jig
15. Reels: Sweeney's Buttermilk / Farewell to Connaught
16. The Phantom Waltz