Today, 100 years ago, Thomas Rundle Reilly was born – in Guelph, Ontario – and in 1935 his family moved to London, England, the country Reilly would make his home. Tommy Reilly died in Surrey in September 2000, aged 81, and for fifty years he had a thriving career as a virtuoso on the harmonica. He was awarded an MBE in 1992 and he has a Wiki page.

Chandos has issued a centenary release embracing thirty tracks recorded between 1945 and 1988 with a variety of artists (not least regular collaborator, pianist James Moody) and embracing numerous picturesque titles (Italian Dance, Midnight in Mayfair, Dinah, Irish Medley, Golden Girl, Firefly, Bulgarian Wedding Dance) together with arrangements of some classics (Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Scarlatti, Smetana): if you have ever wanted to hear the Overture to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro played on a harmonica (with Billy Ternent’s Orchestra), then that moment has arrived. [CHANDOS CHAN 20143; 77 minutes]

 

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