Jerry Holland

Fiddler's Choice

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Natalie MacMaster may well be the most widely recognized Cape Breton fiddler, but Jerry Holland is easily the most well-known composer of music in the Cape Breton fiddle tradition. As this album attests, Holland is also a proficient fiddler. He works his way through 15 medleys on Fiddler's Choice, covering a wide range of jigs, reels, strathspeys, and waltzes. By the time it's over, Holland has performed 52 songs and provided ample evidence of his instrumental virtuosity. He also composed several jigs, strathspeys, and reels for fiddle and uilleann pipes, which is the first time a Cape Breton composer has written for the pipes. Holland's fiddling is a perfect example of the Cape Breton style. In addition to guitar and pipes, most of the songs also feature piano, which hasn't been usual with most fiddle music traditions. The piano, however, is the only instrument that can really match the dynamic range of the violin, and this album testifies to how attractive the fiddle-guitar-piano trio is. Between Holland's original material and his powerful performance, Fiddler's Choice is as good an album as Holland has ever released.

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