Featuring accompaniment from Capercaillie’s Ewen Vernal (bass) and Salsa Celtica’s Guy Nicolson (tablas), the album reflects the extent of McManus’s musical explorations both within and beyond the Scottish tradition.
The title is a pun on the Gaelic phrase ceol mhor, or ‘big music’, referring to the noble piobaireachd tradition of the Highland bagpipes, a form rendered here in Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. Other tracks range from Robert Burns’ Ye Banks and Braes to Charles Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, with Breton and French-Canadian material again featuring prominently alongside Scottish and Irish tunes.
Having opened with a tenderly lyrical sean nos song air, Sliabh Gheal gCua na Feile, the album closes in contrasting fashion with a 17th-century Jewish hymn-tune from eastern Europe, Shalom Aleichem, a greeting to the angels traditionally sung before the Sabbath.
Originally released on Compass 2002
1. Lady Ann Montgomery’s Reel / Eilish Brogan / Paddy Fahey’s
2. The Lament for the Viscount of Dundee / Dr MacPhail’s Reel
3. Sliabh Gheal gCua na Feile / Kishor’s Tune 4. Ye Banks and Braes
5. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
6. The King of the Pipers
7. Exile / La Reve du Queteux Tremblay / Pierre’s Right Arm
8. An Drochaid Bheag / The Chandelier
9. Suite de Ridees
10. The Old Bush
11. Shalom Aleichem