First O' The Darkenin', the new solo album from Chris Stout, is what can transpire when one of these 'firebrands' is given creative carte blanche by the record label. Scotland's Greentrax, who give much credence to 'letting the creative juices flow', have proven the value of this practice over the years with a roster that includes Shetland band, Fiddlers' Bid and genre-benders, Salsa Celtica. The fact that Chris is an alumnus of both of these groups must have given Greentrax plenty of confidence in his solo project. Chris surrounds himself with a modern ensemble including soprano sax, guitar, double bass and piano. Sound like a jazz arrangement? You bet. There's plenty of jazz flavors and soloing mixed into a compelling batch of Shetland tunes. He even serves up a Norwegian hymn. First O' The Darkenin' is a relaxing, rewarding listen that echoes the twilight it honors.
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