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Celtic Music from Wales
Green Linnet (www.greenlinnet.com)

cd cover This debut disc shows tremendous promise from a talented trio of musicians. Ffynnon (pronounced FUN-on) consists of vocalist Lynne Denman, bassist Dave Reid, and multi-instrumentalist Stacey Blythe. The sound they put out is delicate and deliberate but with a quiet richness owing to some lovely, atmospheric arrangements. Denman's bell-like soprano is not a powerhouse instrument, but is a perfect foil for the subtle sound of her band mates. She is more than capable of pulling off complex a cappella songs such as "Cwew Fach (Little Cuckoo)" and "Aros Mae (Staying)." Blythe contributes some warm piano and moody accordion lines. Reid's work on six-string electric bass is a standout. His understated jazz licks, delivered with a creamy tone and supple phrasing, are what give this trio its distinctive sound. While the songs are not technically all from Wales (there's a Scottish border ballad, a Breton dance song, and a Northumbrian dialect song, among others) the selections here capture the sweet simplicity that is the Welsh melodic line. On "Goshawk" the piano and bass owe as much to Debussy and Satie as to traditional Scots music. The fun, fast-paced jazz patter of "Le Petit Cordonier" brings Paris Combo to mind. The only drawback to this charming collection of music is that, at just over forty-one minutes, it's over too soon. - Peggy Latkovich

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