John Lesaca

Master Fiddler

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Philippine violinist John Lesaca released Master Fiddler in 1995. Lesaca's previous album, 1991's Fiddler on the Loose, was a contemporary jazz outing, though it also contained several numbers that were simply "instrumental music."

The music on Master Fiddler is a reversal of Fiddler on the Loose, as Master Fiddler contains mostly instrumental music, with only one number that can be called contemporary jazz. Master Fiddler also contains two songs with vocals, the Beatlesque "I Love You (Song for Marilou)" sung by John Lesaca and "Forever" sung by Angeline Yap.

"I Love You (Song for Marilou)" begins with John Lesaca playing the opening line to the Beatles' "P.S. I Love You," and Lescaca sings a melody reminiscent of the Beatles' "Across the Universe." John Lesaca even adopts John Lennon's singing approach the Beatles cover. Other songs, such as "Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo" (If You're Leaving Me), "Binibini" (Lady), "Sana" (I Hope), "Can We Stop and Talk About It," and "Ipagpatawad Mo" (Forgive Me) are instrumental music, though some songs contain some jazz spirit, such as the embellishment of the original melody heard on "Sana" and the improvised violin passage on "Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo." Mostly, though, these songs are instrumental. "Kailangan Kita" (I Needed You) is contemporary jazz and opens on a spirited, modern-sounding chord progression played by keyboards, as John Lesaca enters with an upbeat, pretty melody. Lesaca plays an extended, improvised tag to this song. The album is an ordinary affair, and isn't helped much by John Lesaca's often sluggish playing, which lacks sharpness or fluidity.

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