Matt Darriau Paradox Trio: Gambit: Brooklyn to Bulgaria (2005)
Electric guitarist Brad Shepik, five-string cellist Rufus Cappadocia and the phenomenal Seido Salifoski on dumbek and percussion form a fierce rhythm section. Spassov and Darriau are nothing short of brilliant together on tunes that allow them to dig in as part of the furious pace or soar above the fray. Spassov makes his simple wooden tube come alive, breathing fire on CD opener "Theo's Gambit." He then melds elegantly with Darriau's alto on the gorgeously emotive "Maichinko," Cappadocia picking up his bow to showcase his instrument's uniquely beautiful sonority.
Darriau breaks out his gaida and pairs with kaval for a Celtic-esque foray entitled "Paidushko" while "Point" is a beautifully contemplative exploration that extends space and stops time. Closer "Tudorka," a Spassov original, serves as a final meditation and fitting emotional release. Three other tunes include only the four-member trio, sans Spassov: "Faux 7," a snaky clarinet-led teaser, the bagpipe chant "Free Gaida" and a superb world-jazz mover and shaker "Cocek I Gong" showcasing Shepik and Darriau. Darriau's gambit pays off handsomely, bringing his smorgasbord of worldly chops to bear within this already eclectic mixture, producing an entrancing worldly delight.
Track Listing: Theo's Gambit; Maichinko; Paidushko; Point; Faux 7; Free Gaida; Čoček I Gong; Tudorka.
Personnel: Matt Darriau: alto sax, clarinet, faux clarinet, gaida; Brad Shepik: electric guitar; Rufus Cappadocia: 5-string cello; Seido Salifoski: dumbek, percussion; Matt Kilmer: percussion (8); Thedosii Spassov: kaval, vocals.
Record Label: Enja/Justin Time