It all starts with O Susannah. The slow, liquid, outpouring of the violin's voice keening over the hills while the wagons roll out of the Appalachian spring towards the great western plains. Many of the tunes on this album are traditional, based on the reel, the jig, the rag, the air: the tightly arranged opening and closing bars made of phrases tightly metered and repetitive, the stanzas so regular that the melodies, often led by Solomon's violin, make you feel the presence of lyrics that may not even be there.
Then the solos break: Pat Collins' walking bass, Geoff Young's cool guitar, Phil Dwyer's elegant, swinging piano, the spare click of sticks on rim and cymbal splashes of Barry Romberg's drum kit ripple out, driving sounds of the jazz of today, and then back in comes the emotive cry of the violin solo, pure in tone, certain in execution of virtuoso riffs, and sometimes swinging, almost. The tunes are enclosed and carried off in the same tight traditional arranged structures they came in on. A strange marriage of December and May, yesteryear and today.