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MP3 Ed Pearlman and Neil Pearlman - On the Edge

Scottish fiddle and jazz piano, blended in a tightly woven, rhythmic, heartfelt soundscape of traditional and original tunes.

13 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Celtic Folk, FOLK: Folk-Jazz

About sound samples: This CD moves around a lot in mood, tempo, feel, and the samples can only pick up on one spot per track. We hope you get to listen all the way through.

ED PEARLMAN has performed, taught, and promoted Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling extensively for over 25 years. He has worked with many of the top fiddlers, and with his wife, Laura Scott, a unique Highland dancer who is tuned into the music in a way most are not: her teacher came from a family of pipers originally from Barra in western Scotland and taught many pipers how to play for dancing. Laura and Ed and family have a family band, with info at https://www.tradebit.com.

Ed has performed with Laura Scott, Tony Cuffe, Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Jerry Holland, Natalie MacMaster, Jean Redpath and many others. His devotion to learning and teaching Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling resulted in 18 years of workshops and concerts as leader of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club, through 1999. The group had as many as 200 members, sponsored several major annual events, and did two performing tours to Cape Breton.

Ed performed in and directed the Scottish Fiddle Rally concert series, an annual weekend of concerts and workshops which were the first events to explicitly combine solo fiddlers from Scotland and Cape Breton side by side, often introducing them to each other. The first concert was in 1985, when Scottish soloist Alasdair Fraser commented that it “bridged a 200-year gap” between Scotland and Cape Breton. Soloists over the years included, from Scotland, Alasdair Fraser, Aly Bain (Boys of the Lough), Iain MacFarlane (Blazin Fiddles), Charlie McKerron (Capercaillie), John McCusker (Battlefield Band), and Tony Cuffe (Ossian). Cape Breton soloists included Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, Jerry Holland, J.P. Cormier, Joe Cormier, Carl MacKenzie, Dave MacIsaac, and Wendy MacIsaac. A highlights CD from this 15-year series is available on Greentrax Records (CDTRAX154).

Ed also performed and directed Boston’s Celtic Festival at the Hatch Shell--seven annual outdoors concerts for as many as 7,000 audience members plus a live radio audience, featuring the best Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton musicians and dancers in New England. He has judged Scottish fiddle competitions throughout the USA, including four U.S. Nationals.

Observing that recordings of many of the best fiddlers were unavailable in the US, Ed started a distribution company in 1991 called Portland America Distributing from scratch, and ended up distributing most of the artists and labels from Scotland and Atlantic Canada as well as from Ireland, Brittany and Wales, to stores throughout the USA, from small shops to Borders, Virgin, Tower and the like. He passed this business to a new owner in 2002 in order to focus on his own music and family band.

As you can hear on the International track of the CD, Ed has also enjoyed learning and working with other styles of music: classical, pit orchestras for musicals, klezmer, jazz, Hungarian, bluegrass, and contra dance music. He has played for countless dancers: Highland, Cape Breton step, Scottish country, and contras.

Ed has been the music columnist for Scottish Life magazine (available at Borders) since 1996. He has taught the fiddle course at Ohio Scottish Arts School since 1995, bringing in Scottish and Cape Breton fiddlers to work with him. He’s also taught and performed at many other camps, including Maine Fiddle Camp, Ashokan, Pinewoods, and Blazin in Beauly, the fiddle camp run by the Blazin Fiddles band near Inverness, Scotland.

NEIL PEARLMAN grew up with Scottish & Cape Breton music and has played traditional music with Ed, with Frank Ferrel, Greg Boardman, and others. He’s also an award-winning jazz pianist playing in Maine and New York, and adds this deep knowledge of music to his accompaniment and solo work on this CD. Neil’s fresh ideas are rooted in a solid traditional understanding. He is a Cape Breton stepdancer too, having toured as a dancer with Natalie MacMaster’s band on a tour of east coast USA. Neil has performed with the band Highland Soles for 5 years in New England and from Ontario to Washington DC. In the jazz world, he has performed in New York and Maine with various small groups of his own and with jazzers Don Doane, Willy Johnson, Sam Sherry, and others.

People who are interested in Natalie MacMaster Aly Bain Alasdair Fraser should consider this download.
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