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Senan's Haggart

If you take two fiddle players in the broad Clare style (Tim Whelan and Bartley O'Donnell), add some jazzy lines on the bass clarinet and soprano saxophone (Lauren Pittwood) and anchor it all with the bubbling chops of a mandola (Luke Plumb), you'd end up with the Adelaide-based quartet Senan's Haggart. On this, their debut CD, they offer only two tracks, an 18-minute "Sporting Nell" and a 27-minute workout on the jig "Sean Ryan's." Senan's Haggart are not a band to jangle through their tunes as fast as possible, as if they were being paid by the note. Rather, they are more interested in mining the feel of a tune in all of its subtleties. As a result, they sound somewhat akin to Shooglenifty in a particularly thoughtful and somewhat minimalist frame of mind. The tracks have an improvisational and restful feel, with the instruments trading off responsibility. Think of this as what Miles Davis would have played had he emigrated to Ireland. - Ivan Emke


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