Ports of Call

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

This album is a mix of original compositions from us both combined with dance tunes from around the North Atlantic - leaving Scotland for a few forays into the fiddle music of Scandinavia, Spain, and France. For the most part, we returned to the tried and true duo format in the recording studio; however, we are joined briefly by two special guests, Brittany Haas and Dave Wiesler.

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Abundance

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas join forces with top Scottish and US musicians including Capercaillie’s Donald Shaw, James MacIntosh of Shooglenifty, Brittany Haas & Corey DiMario of trend-setting band Crooked Still, Dominick Leslie of Bluegrass’ The Deadly Gentlemen, Hanneke Cassel, Stefan Amidon - and a Nashville brass section led by Kai Welch!

¨Classic Scots fiddlers like Niel Gow saw little contradiction between playing for a fashionable drawing room audience by day and sawing out tunes for village peasants in the evening. After all, bowed instruments (including viola and cello) were more about the dance than the musician. If it set Scottish toes a tapping, it scarcely mattered if they were shod in silk or leather. That spirit of court and pub pervades the latest release from Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Superlatives fail for these two, but does it surprise anyone to hear this is a stunning release? It differs from previous projects in several ways. First, the feel is more courtly than plebian. There are some wonderful raucous traditional tunes here, including one of the better versions of the 3/2 dance tune “Keys to the Cellar” (known by many as “Cam Ye Ower Frae France”) ever recorded, but there’s even more stately material such as the strathspey “Niel Gow’s Wife;” Fraser’s birthday tune for a friend, “Howard Booster’s Style;” and “Glenfinnan,” a slow wedding march composed by Fraser. Another departure involves the integration of a style unavailable to the old masters: jazz. Fraser’s cleverly titled “Hot Club d’Écosse” hops to Django Reinhart small-combo jazz beats. Perhaps most surprising, Fraser and Haas even integrate some trombone and euphonium into “The Kelburn Brewer.” But style scarcely matters with masters such as these. Think I exaggerate? Who else could make a playful song about a kitten on the back of a gull (“On the Wings of a Skorrie’) sound so soul-wrenchingly beautiful?¨

— Rob Weir

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  1. 1 On The Wings of a Skorrie 03:07
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Highlander's Farewell

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Featuring an all-star line-up of guests including Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas, Hanneke Cassel, and many more.

“Four Stars! Scots fiddle master Alasdair Fraser and young American cellist Natalie Haas have already created a considerable stir in their concert performances . . . A highly engaging session.”

-The Scotsman

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  1. 1 Pitnacree Ferryman 04:03
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In The Moment

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Alasdair & Natalie's 2nd duo release featuring mostly original compositions.

‘So the idea of pairing a master fiddler such as Alasdair Fraser with the sublime cello playing of Natalie Haas might seem like a stroke of brilliance, something bold and new. But according to Alasdair, it’s a pairing that has deep roots in Celtic tradition - ‘People may be familiar with the gorgeous, melodic cello sound,’ Fraser says, ‘but they’re surprised to learn that the cello used to comprise the rhythm section in Scottish dance bands.’’

-Eugene Weekly, USA

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  1. 1 Valley of the Moon Reel 04:01
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Fire and Grace

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Winner of the Scots Trad Music Awards 'Album of the Year' award! Scottish fiddle and cello music of unrivalled beauty, eloquence, and passion

"A future classic of a Scots album".

-Chris Nickson, All Music Guide

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  1. 1 Calliope Meets Frank 05:55
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Legacy of the Scottish Fiddle Volume 2

Alasdair Fraser, Muriel Johnstone and Natalie Haas

Tunes from the Life & Land of Robert Burns featuring Alasdair & Natalie with Muriel Johnstone

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  1. 1 Ca' The Ewes 01:35
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