235

Yaron Herman Trio: Muse

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Yaron Herman Trio: Muse If music could exist outside of time—not as in rhythm, but as in the time-space continuum—then it might sound like the glassy, ice-hot pianism of Yaron Herman. How did he get to inhabit this spare soundscape in almost suspended animation? Perhaps it is because he is powered by the magic of an uninhibited soul—that and the happy accident of the finiteness of mathematics. Add the mysterious trickery of melding of the two, and the result is music that sways, mirage-like into the inner ear.

Muse may bring Keith Jarrett to mind, but would be only because Herman hums atonally as he propels himself with trembling, reckless abandon on the keyboard. And like all artists who appear to commune with the spiritual world—as they all should—Herman's renditions of his and other musicians' songs howl and cry, swing and frolic, skip and pirouette with a pulse and voice all their own.

"Con Alma," Dizzy Gillespie's insouciant bop classic, is rejuvenated with colorful, timbral elegance and a pulse that puts an unfettered sway in to the song. Björk's "Isobel" becomes a cry in the wind at the thunderous hands of Herman, drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist Matt Brewer. Violins, viola and cello elevate the song as the subtly expressive, Parisian Quatuor Ebene string quartet add a touch of the fragile to a piece that becomes increasingly dark and Gothic.

The trio powers its way into "Lamidbar" the well-known Israeli folk song, and, thanks to Cleaver's marching rattle, and clipped, bright cymbal splashes, turns it into a kind of feverish forro. Herman appears to bend his melancholic notes while somehow maintaining the folksy feel throughout. "Perpetua" has that glacial imagery which is cracked and crashed into by the drums from time to time; it then swings, with a contrapuntal figure, into a complex modal sketch. Herman's hyper-tonal harmonic layering adds mystery to an already beguiling song.

Herman's songs are imbued with a primal force that coalesces on a frenetic aural canvas. "Muse" is a fine example; a song with an otherworldly melody that resounds with elastic harmonies. "Twins" is written and played almost as if it were constructed and performed against a cracked mirror. "Vertigo" is a soaring spiral of a piece that is exquisitely rendered by the trio, while "Rina Balle," with piano and bass playing like contrapuntal twins, oscillates waltz time as the two instruments fluff out the harmonics of this intriguing song.

It is a measure of the respect that Herman shares for Brewer's songwriting that he has chosen two of the bassist's fine compositions. In addition to "Perpetua," the simple melody of "And The Rain" sticks in the brain because of its sheer simplicity and the fact that it seems to have been written just for this date. All this goes to making Muse a very intriguing record.


Track Listing: Muse; Con Alma; Vertigo; Lamidbar; Perpetua; Isobel; Joya; Lu yehi; Twins; And The Rain; Rina balle.

Personnel: Yaron Herman: piano; Matt Brewer: bass (1-7, 9-11); Gerald Cleaver: drums (2-7, 9-11); Quatuor Ebene String Quartet (1, 6, 11).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 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!