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David Strother: The Desert is Singing

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Blue Monk"

Violinist David Strother is the fiddle player on Lawrence Lebo's Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3, American Roots. On that recording, Strother has a homey feel, very much in keeping with the stripped-down ambiance Lebo was trying to achieve on her recording. On his own 2007 recording, The Desert is Singing, Strother further strips things down to just himself and his Yamaha SV-110 electric fiddle. Among his original compositions are a couple of standards, one of which is Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk."

Strother presents the expected head that dissolves off into ravenous particles, something akin to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium dream before composing the classic 1979 poem, "Kubla Khan." Things are steady and fine enough, but Strother's dissolution is delicious, departing so far from the blues that John Coltrane could probably see him coming. Flights of whimsy and demonic psychic breaks characterize this far-reaching playing.

Personnel: David Strother: violin.

Title: The Desert is Singing | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Remba Records

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