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Michaela Rabitsch / Robert Pawlik Quartet: Moods

Jim Santella By

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From Vienna, Austria, trumpeter Michaela Rabitsch and guitarist Robert Pawlik lead a fine quartet steeped in the jazz tradition while offering a fresh voice for the evolving worldwide jazz scene. Communicating naturally with any audience, they interpret ten original songs on Moods while stirring the pot with a hearty, foot-tappin' thrill that's driven by the ensemble's convincing jazz and blues.

Ten years of performance and three CDs together have created a tight unit that thrives on beauty of tone, as fostered by Miles Davis, Pat Metheny and others. No gimmicks here, just the real deal.

Rabitsch sings with genuine authority and plays both trumpet and flugelhorn well. Her instrumental textures recall the best of Miles Davis while her vocals stand alone as a fresh voice that means every word. She tells stories through original lyrics and enjoys wordless vocals with her Latin numbers, recalling the excitement of Tania Maria and the sensuality of Astrud Gilberto.

Pawlik plays both amplified guitar and electric guitar as a complementary partner who blends well with trumpet and voice; the quartets also feature double bass and drums for a portion of the program as well as electric bass and percussion elsewhere. Thus, the music turns in different directions with changes in instrumentation and style.

A favorite selection? All ten. The quartet's music sends chills up and down the spine.

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