A Different Shore - Nightnoise

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Nightnoise carved out a popular niche for their ethereal blend of Celtic music with mellow jazz, though with a predictable lack of respect from hardcore practitioners of both styles. Though no one album is gong to convince the true believers in either camps that there is something to this fusion, A Different Shore has some powerful arguments. There are moments here when the melancholy, sentimental Irish tones mesh perfectly with more modern ideas about instrumentation, such as the lovely tune "For Eamonn." Likewise "The Busker on the Bridge" throws a lovely jazz flute solo back to back with a star turn on Irish bagpipes, followed by a purely Celtic vocal solo in the "mouth music" style. This shouldn't work at all, but it manifestly does. Not everything comes together this well - Triona Ni Dhomhnaill's rambling lyrics and quavering vocals on "Falling Apples" make one thankful that it's her only song on this release, and the odd syncopated piano on "Mind the Dresser" sounds calculated and mars an otherwise interesting melodic line. Those quibbles aside, A Different Shore is generally very successful and enjoyable. This album has changed more than one skeptic's mind about jazz/Celtic fusion.