If there's one thing that makes Myriad such a subtly thrilling success, it is compatibility. Chris Gall has a consummately melodic voice at the piano with a relentless pulse running through everything, however heavy or light. Bernhard Schimpelsberger is a versatile percussionist whose rhythmic sense is bolstered by an extensive palette of sounds and tones. Somehow their respective strengths fit each other's spaces like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle slotting together, making for a worldly outing full of color and beauty.
These are organic pieces which sound grown more than composed. Gall's melodies flow as smoothly as a running stream, albeit one that still has a couple of rumbly spots here and there. They lean on Eastern mantric forms just a bit more than on Western jazz (although both are essential components), making skillful use of groove and circular repetition amidst the melody lines. Between the piano's ever-shifting dynamics and a globe-spanning range of percussion sounds from cymbals to wood blocks, there's an unexpected depth of quiet variety throughout.
While Gall's notes weave through the air like dust motes floating in sunlight, Schimpelsberger fleetly colors around and between the coasting lines, not only choosing his timing with care but keeping a keen ear on pitch as well. "Pinhole Observer" has them building steam over deep wooden thumps before cooling down with gentle high chimes; "The Wheel" finds modern minimalism crossed with old-world tradition, as Carnatic konokol rhythmic scatting underlies the circular piano patterns. In other spots such as the jaunty "Song for June" or Gall's meditative solo closer, simple ear-soothing melody takes the lead instead. Myriad lives up to its title with a wealth of colors, flavors and above all, possibilities.
Myriad; Seguiriya; Pinhole Observer; Interlude I; Song of June; The Wheel; Interlude II; In a
Landscape; Poem on a Typewriter; New Life.