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Saturnalia Trio: It Was In May

Daniel Crommie will be a familiar name to anyone who frequents the reviews pages here at SoT, after all, whether through his solo work, Group Du Jour, Echo System or as here, Saturnalia Trio work he now has over forty album reviews on these pages alone. Across those bands and solo outings Crommie has one constant and that’s change, with most of his releases bearing very little relation to its most recent predecessor. That said, with Saturnalia Trio he does, alongside singer, viola and violin player Leslie Gray, acoustic bass and nylon string guitar man Eldon Hardenbrook and hand drum player Dave Thatcher always offer up music from a medieval standpoint.

With It Was In May that musical filter intends to offer up sounds from Europe through a contemporary NW American filter, featuring pieces from Spain, France and Sweden which work along with two Bert Jansch compositions and some Crommie originals. Now, in all honesty, while you never know what’s quite going to come your way in a review pack from SoT, sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and admit that you don’t really have reference points for what’s playing out in front of you and, unfortunately, with this album that’s exactly where I am. This is medieval music played in a more modern way but with sympathy for its source and a desire to stay true to its origins. On that level it does a fine job and those involved will be rightly proud.

That said, the slow, traditional air does absolutely nothing for me and while trying to keep an open mind as to the craft at play, I must admit to finding the whole enterprise thoroughly tedious. That, in truth, is as much a clash of styles as a comment on the actual results but I’d hazard a guess that this style will have a limited appeal to even the broad church of musical tastes gathered together here under the banner of SoT.

Track Listing
1. Duet Minuet
2. Tell me What Is True Love
3. Harvest Brnale
4. Empty Nests
5. It Was In May
6. Langdans Fran Solleron
7. Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie
8. When Love Is Gone
9. La Sansonette
10. Too Much Distance
11. Sommer Vals
12. Cantiga De Santa Maria #353
13. Sweet Rosa
14. Minuet Duet
15. Silent Nights

Added: March 15th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Daniel Crommie @ bandcamp
Hits: 491
Language: english

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