Various Artists

Young Scottish Pipers

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This album offers quite an education in pipe playing. Not only does it show that there's a whole generation of talented and imaginative pipers in Scotland, it shows that they each have their own distinctive styles -- a fact that might come as a surprise to those who think of the pipes as a noise. In fact, there's a lot of subtlety in the playing, whether very traditionally rooted, as with Rory Campbell or Fred Morrison or in a more contemporary, smoother style, such as that of Anna Murray. Young Scottish Pipers is also a record that shows the range of pipes -- border, uilleann, highland, and beyond. All the players are standouts, but Murray's playing is especially attractive and mellifluous, and there's a commercial side to her cuts, especially "The Hazy Day" set. Definitely an artist to seek out in the future, one with a large vision and the ability to make it real. But most of those here show great potential, like Canterach, whose jigs stir both the heart and the feet. In short, there's all manner of pipe playing here, of the highest standard, and enough variety of style to satisfy anyone. If these are the people coming up in the pipe-playing world, then the instrument is in safe hands for the future.

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