While Mike Fitz-maurice is best known as the bassist for Colcannon, his latest release looks toward the Middle East, not the Emerald Isle. Inspired by The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, a book first published in 1824, Continuing Adventures provides a soundtrack for an imagined sequel as rendered by some of the area's most tasteful and discerning instrumentalists.
The story begins with "Dervish Ghessehgou," a delightfully foreboding track comprising Fitzmaurice's string-bass sawing, and subsequent tracks and/or chapters are just as vivid. For instance, "Zainab" ventures into a mysteriously jazzy land in the company of drummer Art Lande and soprano saxophonist Mark Harris, and "Hajji the Nasakhchi" conveys exotic locales and looming danger with assistance from Aaron Lande's sinuous violin, Glenn Taylor's cheeky pedal-steel guitar and Ty Burhoe's atmospheric tabla playing.
Fitzmaurice's often mesmerizing excursion won't cause Colcannon fans to get their Irish up, but few listeners will complain about its unlikely destination.
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