Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Leveret - Diversions 2019 ( Free Download )

Leveret - Diversions 2019 ( Free Download )
Leveret - Diversions 2019
There is so much to be said for recording an album live, without overdubs or added instrumentation or effects. A minute and a bit into Diversions, Leveret’s fourth album, Andy Cutting’s melodeon slides into ‘The Bull Ring’ and brings a dreamy texture to a dance already in full swing at Rob Harbron and Sam Sweeney’s hands. It is the sort of natural merging that comes not from studio trickery, but from a trio of musicians who are armed with the sort of intuition many would be proud of. In a welcome age of folk ‘supergroups’ (which almost invariably contain at least one of these players), Leveret are no exception, being built from three masters of their instruments, but they are an understated band who use their prowess and the tools of their trade to continually develop a sound that has been honing for five years now. Their first album New Anything was cut in just one day; Diversions was recorded in a relatively leisurely three, but the spontaneity they are known for is there, as are the tunes and the sympathetic and mannered musicianship. After the all original Inventions, this set sees the trio back to digging into traditional material from various manuscripts and songbooks and re-imagining it with their signature skill and flair.

This album is a warm hug throughout, but I’m going to start by diving into the middle of the list and the glorious ‘Molly Apple Pye’. William Winter’s fiddle tune is a beautiful source to start from, but how these guys interpret and arrange is so subtle and impressive. The piece starts as a duet between the two squeeze-boxers, with Cutting’s strong accordion melody running slightly above Harbron’s concertina, before Sweeney’s violin joins the frame. The two then briefly sit back to allow Sam to let the strings sing, before rejoining and bringing the full strength of the tune to the fore. After a few listens to the disc, this perfect piece of playing by all three distils and defines the purest qualities of the band. It is but one example of how well Leveret perform together and how each member allows the other to play. Another is on ‘A Hornpipe’ and again that introduction of Sweeney’s strings. The tune begins with Harbron’s playing creating an undulating drone underneath Cutting’s tricky melody before the violin changes the whole tune from one of patience to almost cinematic maritime buoyancy. From here the tune shifts into ‘The Sailor’s Delight’, which ceases the drone playing, creating space and losing any of the apprehension of the previous tune’s intro. It is another example of the effectiveness of the interplay between the trio and how their subtle adding and taking away from the arrangement elegantly changes the mood of the music.

At the other end of the scale from the joyous nature of ‘The Sailor’s Delight’ is ‘The Wounded Huzzar’, a piece taken from the manuscript of Northamptonshire poet and fiddler John Clare (see Chris Wood’s ‘Mad John’ and ‘I Am’ songs and notes for more on John). Clare was a man troubled for much of his life and this tune holds much beauty in its melancholy. Here the three instruments take it in turns on the melody and rhythm duties, which brings variety and texture to the piece, but the mood is undoubtedly sombre, which balances nicely with the upbeat dance tunes ‘Ellis Knowles’ No. 7′ and ‘The Honey Moon’ preceding it, where the sound is more unified and each instrument’s role is clearly defined and adhered to, allowing the listener to enjoy the melody of the piece and dance to the tune without it shifting around too much. ‘Huzzar’ is a quietly epic narrative that moves around and ebbs and flows; the result is a complex and multi-layered piece of music which, with ‘Molly Apple Pye’ following on, creates a powerful medley of pure playing and strikingly inventive arranging.

The more this album is listened to, the more nuances in the playing can be picked up; ‘Hessian Camp’ is one of the smaller pieces on here and the tune is consistent, but Andy Cutting’s little jig refrain throughout is wonderfully understated and gentle, but it stays with you until long after the tune has finished, a detail which nicely illustrates the intricacy and quality of the music. Another slower piece, album closer ‘The Cherping of the Lark’ further demonstrates how quietly powerful this album is. ‘Lark’ is one of two pieces taken from Playford’s Dancing Master, the first being ‘Cuckolds in a Row’. Where that tune, paired with ‘Drunken Barnaby’, makes up a jaunty and robust middle section to the album, ‘Lark’ is a far more spacious piece, carefully evoking the early hours of the morning and life coming awake. Along with ‘Huzzar’ and ‘Molly’, it is one of the more restrained tunes on the album; the notes here are drawn out and patient, making for a more thought-provoking piece of music. It is the perfect way for the tune to be played and a lovely way to end such an emotionally contrasting album. Each piece here stands by itself as a skilfully arranged and beautifully played tune, but more importantly, regardless of how far they stray from each other, they hang together very well to work as an album of diverse works to be listened together.

File Information:
Album: Diversions
Genre: Folk
Released: 2019
Format: MP3 320Kbps
Size: 109 MB
Track : 11
01.The Bull Ring / The Lady’s Bright Knot
02.Enfield Common
03.Ellis Knowles’ No.7 / The Honey Moon
04.The Wounded Huzzar
05.Molly Apple Pye
06.Drunken Barnaby / Cuckolds All a Row
07.A Hornpipe / The Sailor’s Delight
08.Hessian Camp
09.Unanimity / King George the Third’s March
10.Nelson Hornpipe
11.The Cherping of the Lark
Pass: www.satualbummusik.com