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Review: Best fiddler ever

Stringsinger 03 Nov 12 - 04:24 PM
Stewart 03 Nov 12 - 04:54 PM
Arkie 03 Nov 12 - 04:55 PM
Mark Ross 03 Nov 12 - 05:49 PM
Beer 03 Nov 12 - 06:15 PM
Elmore 04 Nov 12 - 10:41 AM
Stringsinger 04 Nov 12 - 11:15 AM
Beer 04 Nov 12 - 11:32 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 04 Nov 12 - 02:37 PM
Stringsinger 05 Nov 12 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,sturgeon 05 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 05 Nov 12 - 01:50 PM
meself 05 Nov 12 - 03:44 PM
Stringsinger 05 Nov 12 - 04:02 PM
Beer 05 Nov 12 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Stim 06 Nov 12 - 12:56 AM
musicmick 06 Nov 12 - 08:44 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 06 Nov 12 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Desi C 06 Nov 12 - 11:25 AM
meself 06 Nov 12 - 11:34 AM
PHJim 06 Nov 12 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,kenny 06 Nov 12 - 03:04 PM
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Subject: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 04:24 PM

Ti Jean Carignan, Acadian fiddler was a master so much so that trained classical musicians scratched their heads at how he was able to do what he did. I had the honor of working with Jonny years ago at the Gate of Horn folk nightclub accompanying him and Alan Mills,folklorist and singer from Canada.

Jonny was a wonderful man, and unassuming but in my view the very best fiddler ever.
He fiddled over the world and for the Chancelor of the Exchequer in France. Oddly enough he made more money driving a cab in Montreal.

Best fiddler ever


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Stewart
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 04:54 PM

Bio and some sound samples

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Arkie
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 04:55 PM

Never had the honor of meeting him, but did see him in person many, many years ago and that occasion was etched forever in my memory. Since I had discovered Sing Out by then, I had heard of him but knew nothing of his fiddle style. I was mesmorized and later bought a recording from Folkways. Wonderful fiddler and still a preference over the contemporary fiddle wizards.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Mark Ross
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 05:49 PM

I agree Frank. He was a wonderful musician.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Beer
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 06:15 PM

Ti-Jean was absoutely the best.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Elmore
Date: 04 Nov 12 - 10:41 AM

Saw him at Fox Hollow in the mid seventies. There were several excellent fiddlers at the festival that year, including Ali Bain, but none better than Jean Carignan.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Nov 12 - 11:15 AM

He was such a nice man on top of his prodigious skill. During the election of Nixon,
I discussed with him the possibility of moving to French Canada. The weather would have been to cold. He was very supportive, however, wanting to introduce me to his friends and he understood about Nixon entirely. Fortunately, WaterGate changed my plans.

Yehudi Menuhin was one of his fans.

There is a difference between classical violin and fiddling; the skills don't necessarily cross over. The problem for a classical violinist is that they may have to relearn bowing techniques, bow holds, and especially attitude since classical playing exhorts the player to rigid standards.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Beer
Date: 04 Nov 12 - 11:32 AM

Ti- Jean played for me( booked him)way back when. It was a Psy. Hospital that I worked for and him and Gilles Loiser came in and put on an unbelievable show for the patients.
Richard Wood (a great Prince Edward Island fiddler.) has spoken to me about Ti_Jean's influence on him. Ashley MacIassic has also mention in concert,about Ti-Jean influence.

Ad.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 04 Nov 12 - 02:37 PM

Not to take anything away from Ti- Jean's greatness but to say one is the best ever is but a subjective opinion. Fiddle playing encompasses so many different styles from so many different areas that there is really no objective way to say who is best. Cape Breton has produced many great ones but you will never find a consensus as to who is or was the best. Fiddle contests don't exist here because the fiddlers themselves don't believe in them. I could list favourites like Angus Chisholm, Buddy MacMaster, or Winston Fitzgerald. Others may favour Carl MacKenzie, Donald Angus Beaton, or Dan Joe MacInnis. Younger people may say Kinnon Beaton, John Morris Rankin, or Howie MacDonald. Still younger may say Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, or numerous others. One of Cape Breton's great composers, Dan R MacDonald said that Big Ranald MacLellan was the best that he ever heard. Big Ranald was probably never recorded but his children Donald and Theresa would still be listed among the very best. I could name a hundred more without ever leaving Cape Breton. New Brunswick would argue for Don Messer or Ned Landry, Newfoundland for Rufus Guinchard, and Ontario for Ward Allen. Ireland gave us Sean McGuire and Ted Furey as well as a thousand others and Scotland also from before Niel Gow to Alasdair Fraser. All of these play variations of a Celtic style so other arguments would be put forth from other cultures. Ti- Jean's name ranks hi among them and he was great!


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 10:53 AM

I realize that Cape Breton has its Scotty Fitzgerald. But Ti-Jean's fiddling is not just a subjective opinion. He is recognized as one of the world's leading fiddlers.

This doesn't take away anything from the Cape Breton masters that you mentioned who are great.

There is a long list of Irish fiddlers that are in the great category also.

Of course there are many styles of fiddling and exponents of those styles who are great.

Ti-Jean remains one of the leading world fiddlers.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: GUEST,sturgeon
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM

Ted Furey? You must be joking, Sandy!


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Frank!
I respect your expertise and judgement!
My point is only that fiddling has no strict criteria as does classical violin and individual expression mixes with playing ability creating subjectivity. Carignan certainly deserves a place among the very best!


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: meself
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 03:44 PM

To say a person is ONE of the best, and to say he is THE best, are two different things. No question Carignan is among the very best - however, I think once you get to that level, each player will have certain strengths more highly developed than do the others, and how you rate them - should you be foolhardy enough to do so - will depend on which particular strength you particularly prize. In other words, it becomes a matter of taste, and when you're dealing with fiddling traditions, what is good taste in one tradition, is bad taste in another. Dancers tend to value a fiddler for his ability to play what they feel enhances their dancing - so a fiddling whiz from another tradition they may not think too highly of.

(Btw: Jarvis Benoit was quoted to me as saying that Simon Cremo, Lee's father, was the best fiddler he had ever heard. The same person that told me that, said that the best fiddling he had ever heard was from Richard Wood, at a late-night session in his Charlottetown pub.)


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 04:02 PM

Sandy, there are many styles and you are certainly correct. Much of the criteria has to do with the folk culture from where these great fiddlers come. Cape Breton is certainly home of the violin, they don't call it a fiddle, Acadia is another, Appalachia, Bluegrass and so many different styles. I confess a bias here since I knew Jonny and worked with him in the early days and was blown away by his ability.

Jonny was a great dance fiddler and was known through Quebec and Montreal.

I'm not sure that fiddlers from various traditions consider those from outside theirs as being in bad taste.   For the most part, the great fiddlers I've encountered respect the ability of fiddlers from other traditions. The most difficult thing for fiddlers is to keep time for the dancers. The dancers are the ones who might not respect different fiddling traditions since they rely on those for which they are comfortable.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Beer
Date: 05 Nov 12 - 11:24 PM

I have been reading all of the post and want to say that I am very pleased that everyone has been so very understanding of everyone's opinion. This is hard to find on Mudcat.
I still think that Ti-Jean is the greatest but I also hold respect to all the other greats. Including a relative of mine from P.E.I. by the name of Eddy Arsneault.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 12:56 AM

No question about Ti Jean Carignan, but "best...ever" is the most abused phrase on YouTube
and when I saw it as a thread title, I figured it would be about some 15 year old kid....


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: musicmick
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 08:44 AM

Surely, Carignon was a giant among trad fiddlers.
I write in defense of Ted Furey, who was maligned by the sturgeon. I played with Ted, at O'Donaghue's, in the late 60s and, old as he was, he could still turn out music with power and authenticity. Another O'Donaghue regular with some talent was Tommy Peoples. But, I digress.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 10:13 AM

Yes Frank, in Cape Breton we often use the term violin as well as fiddle for our music. Cape Breton is also a part of Acadia with a significant French population that produces some great musicians.   
Musicmick, I never heard Ted Furey play but included his name as an example because he was highly rated by people that I respect. The music that he infused in his sons alone places him high in my opinion!


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 11:25 AM

By far the best I've ever hear was/is Dave Swarbrick, he did things with the fiddle that seemed impossible


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: meself
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 11:34 AM

I saw Eddy Arsenault play last summer, for the first time in several years. Good to see him still at it - but he wasn't looking great, I'm afraid, and seemed a little weak. He was playing with his (adult) children. We had taken my 90-year-old mother up to Abram Village to take in a bit of a fiddling festival there, and she had a great time, as she grew up with Eddy's type of music and person, and has always enjoyed both.

Since the last time I was there, the fiddling and, particularly, its accompaniment has moved away from the 'traditional' somewhat, with a more contemporary, sophisticated sound and presentation. Which is fine and dandy - but I prefer the old-fashioned, straight-ahead style.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 12:43 PM

I first saw Jean at the 1961 and/or 1962 Mariposa Folk Festival(s) playing with Alan Mills and immediately became a fan.


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Subject: RE: Review: Best fiddler ever
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 06 Nov 12 - 03:04 PM

There's no such person as the "Best fiddler ever" - there's "my favourite fiddler ever", [ which no one can argue with ], and "the best fiddler I ever heard", but that very much depends on how many fiddlers you've heard.
Jean Carignan, from the little I've heard of him, was a truly gifted fiddler in the styles which he excelled in, but please, from the point of view of pure logic, there could not possibly be a "best fiddler ever".


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