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Florian Weber / Jeff Denson / Ziv Ravitz: Minsarah (2006)

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Florian Weber / Jeff Denson / Ziv Ravitz: Minsarah How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The members of this young and well-schooled, multi-national piano trio convened at Boston's Berklee College of Music—and the rest is history, so to speak. They recorded Minsarah in Germany, on which youth, vigor and invention come to fruition.

The title of this release refers to a prism, where translucent glass is used to separate the wavelengths of light, and these musicians likewise spin a multihued vista on the sometimes formulaic piano trio format. Pianist Florian Weber lifts notions from the Bill Evans school by executing lushly harmonic thematic forays atop the rhythm section's pulsating swing vamps. At times quiet and introspective, the band is also apt to rev its engine in spots and veer off into avant-progressive terrain marked by Jeff Denson's harrowing arco bass passages and drummer Ziv Ravitz's orchestral tom patterns.

Weber's cascading voicings and trenchant block chords explore a bottom-up methodology on the emotive "Shift. The members of the trio convey quite a bit of poise and self-determination to complement its free-form spin-offs and polyrhythmic maneuvers. The musicians explore and conquer various jazz-related frameworks, like funk-groove and other genre-tinged stylizations. But on the final piece, "Lunatic, Weber steers the band through an appropriately communicated reckoning of the track's title, and the unit soars skyward in hyper-bop mode.

Overall, the musicians refashion a point of interest, essentially reengineering convention into a collectively pronounced personalization of what their music and approach is all about. And to paraphrase composer/vocalist Elvis Costello, their "aim is true.

Track Listing: Through The Mist; Close To The End; Like Water; Shift; New World; E.S.P.; Nuage; Hojas Marchitas; Childs Play; If I Only Had An Answer; Lunatic.

Personnel: Florian Weber: piano, kalimba, loops, rum bottle; Jeff Denson: bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums.

Record Label: Enja/Justin Time

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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