“… an album of elegant, high quality music, the tunes strong and each players giving the next plenty of room to breathe and manoeuvre… ” **** Songlines
“Working Hands” is Shetland-born fiddler Jenna Reid’s most accomplished album to date.
It’s described by her as “ … a collection of tunes that I composed for friends, family and musicians, inspired by the tools our trade: our working hands. I also included three of my favourite traditional Shetland tunes within the album.”
Featuring the ultra-classy McFall’s Chamber, it brings together the poised expression of her playing with fiddle quartet RANT and the touch, tone, gorgeous blue notes, conspiratorial feints and sheer exuberance that have long been the hallmark of Jenna’s truly inspired partnership with pianist Harris Playfair.
Featuring predominantly original compositions, the album grew out of lessons Reid took with Robert McFall, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s experienced second violinist and leader of the revered and genre-defying string ensemble Mr McFall’s Chamber.
Already extremely proficient and expressive, Reid wanted to work on her technique and hone her sound and delivery, and from working on these finer points with McFall she decided to make a recording that was different to her previous albums.
Working Hands showcases the slower paced, more reflective music that has resulted from taking more time and listening more intently to the sound Reid produces on her instrument.
‘McFall’s March’ is an at-times exuberant, at-times keening tribute to McFall’s Chamber, a group Reid has followed and has wanted to work with for many years. ‘Su-a Song’, for McFall’s cellist Su-a Lee, is Reid at her most tenderly sensitive, and ‘Metronome Man’ was written for Reid’s husband, the percussionist Iain Sandilands.
Also included are three of Reid’s favourite traditional Shetland tunes, two airs and a jig taken at a slow and delicate pace.
“Joined by McFall’s, the album exposition featuring mainly Reid’s compositions opened with her joyfully brisk title tune, the ensemble strings providing pizzicato emphasis and rich harmonies, while the winsome ‘Su-a Song’ saw her dedicatee join in a fine duet … Reid’s serene evocation of Reykjavik’s cathedral, was eloquently supported by string harmonies and Sandilands’ xylophone.” LIVE