How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Jacob Garchik may be a trombonist but he marches to the tune of a different drummer.
Although his compositions and playing on this new recording don't fall into an easy category, Romance is eminently likeable. While at first everything sounds unpredictable and free-spiritedimagine colors you haven't seen, combinations of sounds you haven't heardit's soon clear that there is an organizing force behind these original offerings. Some sections are too pretty and melodic, even at times classical sounding, to be random musings.
If it all feels a bit eclectic, well, why not? Everything holds together. And Garchik seems just the right person to take some bold, unclassifiable steps and make it work. His performance credits, like his music, are diverse. He's played in the Lee Konitz Nonet, Slavic Soul Party and has written arrangements for the Kronos Quartet. He's also appeared with the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Mingus Big Band as well as Elvis Costello and Paul Anka.
Joining him are able partners game for uncharted territory: Jacob Sacks on piano and Dan Weiss on drums and tabla, as well as Judith Berkson, whose intriguing voice on the wordless piece, "One Note," manages to sound as mellifluous and mysterious as Garchik's trombone.
When Alice fell through the Looking Glass she didn't know exactly what the rules were in Wonderland. But once she got acclimated to the strange doings in that new environment things made sense. It's the same here in Garchikland. For those with flexible ears and minds, Garchik's explorations are a journey worth taking.
Track Listing: Initiate; Medium; Mahl; Waltz; Unis; Out of Focus; Just Look at Us; Focus; Romance; One Note.
Personnel: Jacob Garchik: trombone; Jacob Sacks: piano; Dan Weiss: drums: tabla (8); Judith Berkson: voice (7, 10).