Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson
(Great White Records)
Five years on from their first album, Partners In Crime, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson seem to have created, if it were possible, an even closer musical bond with which their Border pipes and whistles and Uilleann pipes and whistles respectively can both move the listener profoundly and create an unstoppably exciting momentum. Air-Fix is almost, excuse the pun, a model album. Its opening tune, their late mentor Gordon Duncan's unspeakably beautiful Full Moon Down Under, could have used a crisper introduction and the drums make the sound just a bit too busy at times. But the two leaders' playing, especially on their duet of Bulgarian dance tune Smeceno Horo, is spectacular and Innes Watson's fiddle adds a strong extra character in arrangements that include an ear-catching, slightly Mahavishnu-esque Man Who Planted Trees. Henderson's singing of Paddy Casey's Anyone Who's Yet To Come and Gerry Rafferty's Look Over The Hill And Far Away introduces another dimension with its bashful, innocent-sounding charm.