Exposé Online banner

Simon Mayor — The Art of Mandolin
(Acoustic Music CDACS 065, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-02-10

The Art of Mandolin Cover artBritish mandolin master Mayor offers this collection of fifteen tunes, a selection of four centuries worth of classical adaptations and traditional pieces, a half dozen originals, a beautiful Django Reinhardt tune, and even Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” here arranged as a mandolin septet with guitars. Mayor plays mandola, mandocello, guitar, and of course mandolin, often multi-tracked; joining him is regular collaborator Hillary James on mandobass, double bass, and guitar, as well as contributing vocals on the beautiful “Brezairola,” a French folk lullaby from Chants d’Auvergne, arranged by Joseph Canteloube in the 1920s. No amplifiers here, this is an entirely acoustic set, with one live piece (“Bolero” by Calace) opening. Mayor’s original “Taxi Horn Rag” fits nicely with the Joplin tune, drawing inspiration from its style, while other Mayor originals here tend to reference folk and classical stylings. The Irish traditional “Lord Mayo” receives an introspective arrangement here for solo mandocello, while Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 2” gets the impressive full mandolin family treatment. A Mayor-James composition “Nocturne in Blue and Gold” is one of the disc’s most hauntingly beautiful originals. The booklet includes ‘Mandolin Journey,’ a short four-centuries-in-three-pages history of the mando-family of instruments from their origins in the Mediterranean to the flat-back models pioneered by Gibson in the 20th century. In all, like all of mayor’s previous releases, this is a thoroughly enjoyable collection sure to please all fans of acoustic stringed instrumental music.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Simon Mayor

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jadis - Across the Water – If this band sounds familiar to you, it's probably because Jadis are usually touted as the alter-ego of IQ. With half of Jadis also members of IQ concurrently (Martin Orford, keys; John Jowitt,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues