5

Guy Mintus Trio: A Home In Between

Troy Dostert By

Sign in to view read count
Guy Mintus Trio: A Home In Between Although he's only 25, pianist Guy Mintus has already forged a musical vision well beyond his years. And he's got sensational chops to match it, as A Home In Between makes clear. It's an outstanding piano trio disc, with a compelling hybrid of styles that includes bop, classical and Israeli and Eastern European folk influences. There seemingly isn't anything Mintus can't tackle, and it is impressive that he succeeds as often as he does on this exciting debut recording.

The first thing one notices about Mintus is the dynamic range and mature touch he brings to his playing. He has fearsome technique—anyone wondering about his jazz credentials need only listen to his dazzling performance of Warne Marsh's "Background Music," where his two-handed facility in particular is astonishing—but this is not one of those records in which the goal is simply to showcase the leader's ability. Going well beyond that, Mintus tells stories with his compositions that utilize an entire palette of styles and emotional registers. The record's opener, "Our Journey Together," is a case in point. Built around a minor-key folk melody in 3/4, the track allows Mintus to range from delicate, classically-inspired filigrees to propulsive, relentless driving passages and powerhouse chords, making use of the entire keyboard in the process. It's a seven-minute tour-de-force, played with conviction and purpose.

Mintus's partners, with whom he's worked for a few years, are central to the success of the record. Bassist Tamir Shmerling combines nimble dexterity with a strong ear for melody, an essential trait in light of the memorable tunes at the heart of Mintus's music. He's as likely to trace out the melodic arc of a piece as is Mintus, as is evident in his contributions during the trio's gorgeous rendition of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," where his articulation of and commentary on the melody are expertly done. And drummer Philippe Lemm clearly shares Mintus's stylistic fluidity. He can swing with the best of them, as demonstrated by the impeccable foundation he provides on "Background Music," but he also navigates the folk and classical aspects of the music with aplomb, and even throws in a bit of Bossa Nova on the collectively improvised "In the Moment." Nor is he reluctant to bang the kit around when it's called for, either: listen to the huge sound he brings to "Çoban Sirto," where his furious snare salvos and ride cymbal pyrotechnics fuel the feverish, danceable Turkish folk tune.

Many listeners will be tempted to deconstruct each track, identifying the various influences that are found here. And there are a lot of them. But it's worth emphasizing that the music ultimately succeeds as an integrated whole: Mintus has already developed his own sound, so whether a tune draws more heavily from Israeli or Turkish folk sources, or invokes a jazz- based or classical idiom, is really beside the point. A better approach, to be sure, is simply to dive into and enjoy what is a fantastic trio record—one that heralds the arrival of a significant talent and a superb band.

Track Listing: Our Journey Together; Mibifnim; Background Music; Zeybekiko for the Brave; In the Moment; Smile; Desert Song; Taksim; Çoban Sirto; My Ideal.

Personnel: Guy Mintus: piano; Tamir Shmerling: bass; Philippe Lemm: drums.

Title: A Home In Between | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "And to the Republic" CD/LP/Track Review And to the Republic
by Mark F. Turner
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!