431

Florian Weber / Jeff Denson / Ziv Ravitz: Minsarah

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Florian Weber / Jeff Denson / Ziv Ravitz: Minsarah It's nice to see a pianist also credited with kalimba, loops and rum bottle, as Florian Weber is on this disc. That sounds a little wilder than it is; this is really a piano trio date. Nevertheless, the slightly odd instrumentation on the margins is indicative of a fanciful energy that suffuses Minsarah, this disc from a trio filled out by bassist Jeff Denson and drummer Ziv Ravitz.

The rum bottle—as a tuned percussion instrument—appears to garnish the playful intro to "Child's Play," before the track settles into a funk groove. On that selection, this outfit manages to sound a bit like an acoustic piano trio version of Herbie Hancock's group on Sextant (CBS, 1973), which is another indication of the eccentric charm mixed with musical intelligence that distinguishes this record. ("Child's Play" even sounds like a Herbie Hancock song title.)

The Minsarah trio shares the compositional duties broadly, each contributing a number of tunes. Collectively, the compositions evince a penchant for natural, indeed physical, phenomena—water, clouds, dried leaves, mist—and the song titles come in a variety of languages: English, French and Spanish (to which one can add the Hebrew of the record's title). Witness the surging ebb and flow of "Like Water" or the kalimba's evocation of autumn leaves in the wind in "Hojas Marchitas." To these natural and linguistic diversities, the musicians add stylistic diversity, ranging from the funk of "Child's Play" to the classical vocabulary employed on "Shift."

Like the phenomena they seek to depict, these songs exhibit a lot of dynamic range, quickly jumping from loud to soft and frenetic to meditative. Along these lines, the record's last cut is called "Lunatic," and reflects not madness but the sense of the French word lunatique, one of whose meanings is "changing"—like the phases of the moon.

If some pianists play with pointillist precision and others favor a light impressionist touch, then Weber's lines are like those of an expressionist painter: forthright, dark, maybe looking ragged up close, but with a fine sense of composition when you step back. Maybe a little like Thelonious Monk or Don Pullen, except that he doesn't sound specifically like either of them. The sound will sit well with admirers of Brad Mehldau, with whom Weber shares the same heavy touch on the keys, and the same omnivorous musical appetite.

While Weber is out front, the others provide consistently strong support, venturing into the spotlight at times: Denson has a nice feature on "If I Only Had An Answer," Ravitz on "Hojas Marchitas."

Visit Minsarah on the web.


Track Listing: Through the Mist; Close to the End; Like Water; Shift; New World; E.S.P.; Nuage; Hojas Marchitas; Child's Play; If I Only Had An Answer; Lunatic.

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

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Justin Time Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Triangular III" CD/LP/Track Review Triangular III
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "End Of Seas" CD/LP/Track Review End Of Seas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Mujo" CD/LP/Track Review Mujo
by John Sharpe
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "A Good Time Was Had By All" CD/LP/Track Review A Good Time Was Had By All
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!