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  • chrisdumigan

Isbin Trio : Yes Love : CD

ISBIN: Yes Love; Gift to the Fall; Observation; A Fine Day; Sky and Sand; Aquest Amor; Troubled; Wellspring; Peace Piece. EVANS/DAVIS: Blue in Green: GARBAREK: Singsong: ISBIN/BROWN: Wawacou.

ISBIN TRIO (Gilbert Isbin (Lute), Xavier Rau (Double Bass) Peter Vangheluwe (Percussion))

Tern Records: TERN008

Let’s be honest! I have never come across a trio of Lute, Double Bass and Percussion before, and suspect that this line – up is unique to Gilbert Isbin, a multi-instrumentalist with many compositions and arrangements under his belt. I wondered what style of music this trio would be playing, and as I soon found out it is very jazz influenced, even the pieces written by Gilbert Isbin.

The title track that opens the album is slow, evocative and full of double bass solo passages and careful drum interventions, and a lute that creates a completely individual sound (Incidentally it might be my imagination but I thought there were a couple of moments in its lower regions where I thought a couple of the strings were not absolutely in tune, unless they are meant to be that way)

The following tracks by Isbin do follow the same feel and sound as the title track, in that Jazz and perhaps contemporary classical are the most obvious sounds one hears, and nothing is very fast, as all the pieces are slow, to moderate only, but the musicianship is very high, and one wonders just how much of it was improvised (I suspect, quite a lot of it!)

The Bill Evans and Miles Davis Blue in Green, is a more familiar piece that fits in really well with the pieces by Gilbert Isbin, as the sound world is very similar.

Jan Garbarek’s Singsong was a new piece to me, and as he is known as a saxophonist primarily, I gather there was a certain amount of arranging done. However, it is extremely jazz- like and full of improvisatory lead lines on the lute and the bass and some very modern chord progressions.

Certainly to enjoy this album you really do have to like your jazz styles, because although there are many places where contemporary classical comes into play, albeit momentarily, the jazz trio sound is the predominant sound world here. That said,, the playing and performances are very good indeed, and (apart from my thoughts on the occasional moments of the lute tuning) so any lovers of this type of sound will probably be quite intrigued by the thought of a lute –led jazz trio! The recording is absolutely first rate too.

Chris Dumigan

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