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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gianni Gebbia, Eiko Ishibashi & Daniele Camarda - Maboroshi (FMN, 2009) ****½

Italian saxophonist Gianni Gebbia is not only a great innovator on his instrument, he is equally looking for opportunities to make new music. This collaboration with Japanese pianist and singer Eiko Ishibashi and fellow countryman Daniele Camarda on bass is a success.  The music is as ethereal and poetic as you can guess based on the cover art, of an astonishing esthetic beauty at moments. Maboroshi means "illusion" and that concept of being unable to grasp reality permeates the music.

As a practicing Zen Buddhist, Gebbia has now the additional name of Jòraku.Very often religiously inspired music is among the most boring you can imagine, but this album has substance. Whether the hypnotic rhythmic playfulness of "One Clapping/Many Hands", or the joyous unison repetitive phrase of "Hermit", the meditative fragility of the title track, or the manic distress of "Kami Kakushi", every composition is captivating and creative. There is no fall-back to known concepts and fixed idioms, with instruments sounding slightly different than you would expect, with every piece sounding fresh and full of surprise and wonder. Ishibashi's singing is surely not in the jazz style, even singing an almost childish "hallelujah"on "Yodaka No Hoshi".

And despite its coherent innovative musical approach, the whole album is of a welcoming accessibility.

Gebbia can also be enjoyed in the following bands:  Trionacra, Switters, Zen Window.

Listen and download from CDBaby

© stef


Stef said...

Morgen, to your point, I must admit that my perspective for saying this, is rather contemporary. True, I did not think of Bach and colleagues.