Garrick – Etheridge: Men on Wire

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Etheridge,Garrick
LABELS: Blue Whale Records
WORKS: Men on Wire
PERFORMER: Chris Garrick (violin), John Etheridge (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: Fly6

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Perhaps it’s in the nature of the instruments, but this is really more of a Garrick-plus-accompanist album than an evenly-balanced duo set – indeed, it comes close to being jazz violin and continuo as often as not.

Nonetheless, it’s highly agreeable and at just over 50 minutes avoids wearing out the potentially fragile welcome of such a set, which is inevitably close-captured and intimate but stops just short of being claustrophobic.

Garrick’s chosen tunes come from a variety of sources, jazz and otherwise, but he’s particularly adept at letting the style of the original material influence his arrangements to just the right degree, although his use of a wah-wah pedal (which clips nastily, thus diminishing the otherwise enjoyable sound of this disc) on ‘Blue Moon’ turns it into an irritating novelty item.

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Etheridge, as ever, is responsive and inventive throughout, his chord voicings unfailingly allowing the violin an unobstructed path. Roger Thomas