Bagpipes for St Andrew's Day

Pipe Dream

Happy Saint Andrews Day to our Scottish readers. I'm sure most of you will be listening to stirring marching band music with a heavy dose of bagpipe today.

I've said it before and I'll say it et cetera, I really like to hear bagpipes played at full throttle. (I enjoy them in Asturias too.) If you're like-minded, you will have come across the name of Rufus Harley, the preeminent  — and only? — jazz bagpipe player. Here's some archive footage of Rufus playing with Sonny Rollins at Ronnie Scott's in London in 1974. You get a good blast around 17' in.

If you're interested in learning this magical instrument, The Bagpipe Shop (UK) and The Piper's Dojo (US) might good places to start looking into acquiring a set on either side of the pond. The Duncan MacRae pipes you see in the top photo are available from Dojo. You can select the length of blowstick and the type of bag and bag cover for your pipes; and things like drone cords and pipe chanters, which don't mean a lot to a non-piper like myself. Who knows, once you pick up the pipes, you could take them in a whole new direction like Rufus.


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