Eliot Grasso | Standing Room Only

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World: Celtic Folk: Irish Traditional Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Standing Room Only

by Eliot Grasso

The debut album by uilleann piper Eliot Grasso features a riveting selection of Irish traditional tunes, Cape Breton tunes, and original tunes performed with a cast of world class of musicians.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Reels: Miss Susan Cooper / The Sandpiper / Boys of the Lough
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4:34 $0.99
2. Jigs: My Darling Asleep / Hag at the Churn / Darby Gallagher?s
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4:06 $0.99
3. Reels: Farewell to Keelroe / The Girl that Broke My Heart
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3:48 $0.99
4. Jigs: O?Hare?s Tilt / Chiaroscuro Jig / Jig of Quills
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4:37 $0.99
5. Hornpipes: Tailor?s Twist / Cuckoo?s Nest
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4:09 $0.99
6. Reels: Gan Ainm / The Grandmaster / Bells of Tipperary
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5:17 $0.99
7. Jigs: Blarney Pilgrim / Palm Sunday / Gan Ainm
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4:37 $0.99
8. Air: The Satin Slipper
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3:40 $0.99
9. Reels: Barry's Trip to Paris / Hilda's Choice / Tommy Peoples'
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4:57 $0.99
10. Jigs/Slip Jig: Garrett Barry's / An Rogaire Dubh / Frainc an Pho
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2:59 $0.99
11. Reels: Dave Normaway MacDonald's Wedding / Toss the Feathers / T
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3:30 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"I first met Eliot Grasso in Achill Island, Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland in August 1999 at the island's annual summer school, Scoil Acla. After hearing him play the pipes for just a short while I was immediately aware that I was in the presence of a master musician, despite the fact that he was still in his mid-teens. Although he had only been playing the pipes for a few years at that stage, his technique and tone had developed to astonishing levels of excellence and richness and his repertoire was seemingly endless. This, combined with his intuitive sense of melodic and technical variation, makes him one of the most creative and dynamic musicians in the contemporary world of Irish traditional music."

"One of the most striking facets of Eliot's music is that he displays an intimate knowledge and understanding of every tune he plays. Careful examination of his playing reveals an emphasis on melodic fluidity which he largely achieves by viewing tunes as harmonic structures. This, in turn, enables him to develop original and attractive melodic variations which are among the most distinctive hallmarks of his piping. Another prodigious aspect of his playing is that he has succeeded in taking tunes not normally associated with the pipes and making them accessible to pipers in a manner which both compliments the pieces themselves and the idiosyncrasies of the instrument. He revels in playing tunes in keys such as G and D minor and A major, keys where many pipers fear to tread, despite the fact that many nineteenth-century chanters were designed to facilitate playing in these keys. To his great credit, Eliot has spent many hours absorbing the finer points of the music of a range of virtuoso performers, both pipers and non-pipers, and this experience in itself has given his music a very solid and authentic basis. His appreciation and performance of the standard piping repertoire leaves nothing to be desired and, furthermore, he has composed many fine tunes himself which show great understanding of both the pipes and traditional music itself."

"I feel that this debut album from Eliot does him great justice and I have no doubt that it is only to be the first of many recordings in what is sure to be an illustrious musical odyssey." - Robbie Hannan


Uilleann piper and Seattle resident, Eliot Grasso, is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Irish Ethnomusicology at the University of Limerick. Eliot began playing Irish music on the flute at age seven, tin whistle at age nine, and in 1995, at age 11, he began uilleann piping, studying piping technique with former Na Piobairi Uilleann instructor Kieran O'Hare. Since 1996 Eliot has won multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place titles in the New York Fleadh Cheoil and Ireland's Fleadh Cheoil na h'Eiraenn in both the uilleann pipes and tin whistle division. Eliot has performed at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, National Geographic, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Library of Congress, the National Building Museum, and the home of the Irish Ambassador, and for such events as the National Humanities Awards, the National Endowment for the Arts Awards, Island, the American Ireland Fund, and the America-Ireland Business Summit. In 1998 Eliot was invited by Na Piobairi Uilleann, the Pipers' Club in Dublin, to record on New Dawn, a compilation of six pipers under age 18. Eliot was not only the youngest but the sole American on this album. In 2001-2002 Eliot was invited to perform as a soloist in Famine Remembrance with members of the Washington Chamber Symphony and in Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel with the Harrisburg Symphony. As a pianist and organist, Eliot has been an active member in Goucher's music program for the past three years concentrating his efforts in performance, music history, and artistic administration. While at Goucher, he has been awarded with the Rosenberg Scholarship in music four times and is currently celebrating the release of his self-produced debut solo album, Standing Room Only, which was released in January 2004.

Included on this album are Jim Eagan, fiddle, Patrick Mangan, fiddle, Zan McLeod, guitar & bouzouki, and Andy Thurston, guitar.


Reviews


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Mark Cantor

A Credit to the Tradition!!
Eliot Grasso is among the great pipers of his generation and is a credit to the tradition! Take it from those of us who have listened to many, many pipers over the past 30 or 40 years, Eliot is technically and artistically a master! Kudos, also, to the accompanying musicians and to the production staff! This cd will get much airplay on my celtic show, The Fret and Fiddle, on non-profit KRCL 91fm, Salt Lake City. www.krcl.org.

Nemain

Amazing music whether you're a pipes fan or not
I heard Eliot Grasso play during a young musicians competion on Prairie Home Companion. I was blown away. I was pleasantly surprised when I found he had a CD on CD Baby. I ordered it immediately. Now I love listening to it. My 3 1/2 year thinks that it is perfect dancing music too.

Glauber

Great cheerful music for bagpipers and non-bagpipers alike.
This CD grabs you from beginning to end with great lively, uplifiting music. Elliot's playing is spot on, even when playing at high speeds. Irish music enthusiasts will smile at the sight of some old favourites such as "My Darling Asleep" and the "Blarney Pilgrim", just to mention two.

The CD is good listening even if you're not an Irish music fanatic or a bagpiper (which is a rare thing among bagpipe albums). A fabulous first effort by Elliot Grasso; we can only hope there will be many more.

Laura Land

Just What I was looking for!
I had a bagpipe song on one of my mixed CDs and my boyfriend just loved it. He asked me to find him more. After much searching I came across this CD. This is exactly what I was looking for: fast paced, upbeat music. Thanks Eliot for this wonderful CD!

Chris Allen

Astonishing!
I linked to this from Kirk Lynch's pipemaking site. I've never heard piping that moved me more, nor silkier pipes. Eliot Grasso's precision and energy are magnificent!

Mary

Terrific Sound!
I am no specialist when it comes to Irish music, but I know that this is really great stuff. Get ready to tap your toes on this one!

Kate

An exceptional debut from a talented piper
As a newcomer to the world of Irish music, I must say that this CD alone has single-handedly made me a fan of the pipes for life. Whether in my car on the way to work or in the CD player around the house, the lively jigs and reels are a compliment to every activity as played deftly by this young virtuoso. Eliot's sound is vibrant and captivating, demonstrating time and again his intense personal relationship and hours of dedication to the study of Irish music. I recommend this album to all who appreciate fine music, Irish traditional fans and future enthusiasts alike.

Michael Holian


Inspiration to pipers and non-pipers alike. I agree with neil Anderson, Elliot can mature to be another Paddy Keenan ! Keep it up Elliot !!!

Neil Anderson

I think I've just heard the next Paddy Keenan!
This is wonderful work from a brilliant 'piper. Eliot combines the tone and control of Jerry O'Sullivan with the fire and musicality of Paddy Keenan. I particularly like his use of the Rogge "flat" set- B is such a cool key for 'pipes, and the fact that Eliot can be so articulate (track 10) on a chanter with such a challenging finger-span (much longer than a standard concert-pitch chanter) is further testimony to his talent. His choice of tunes is also very cool- I think my favorite set on the disc is track 9, which starts with a great Jerry Holland reel called "Barry's Trip to Paris." His back-up musicians are world-class, as well. Andy Thurston's work here is of particular note. Eliot should be very proud of this disc; elegant, well produced, scholarly, and entertaining, in short, it just ROCKS. Can't wait for the next one!

Kelly Reid

Raising the bar on the Uilleann pipes
Recordings can't usually capture the fire and passion of a life performance, but this is an exception. I've heard Eliot live a number of times, and I can say for sure that this recording reproduces his amazing flair and virtuosity with 100% accuracy.
I own many cds of traditional irish music, and I hold Eliot's as one of the best I have. I couldn't reccomend any CD more, whether you're a lover of Irish music, the Pipes, or of music in general. It is truly one of the crown jewels of my library, and will surely become one of the great recordings of the Irish pipes of this generation.
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