The second release by cellist Erik Friedlanders group Topaz, this disc features original compositions as well as material by Henry Mancini, Charles Mingus, Julius Hemphill, Carlos Santana, and Iranian vocalist Googoosh. In terms of instrumentation and style, the music on Skin bears a distinct resemblance to the ethnic fusion of Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio. Satoshi Takeishi's multi-timbral percussion, which takes the place of a conventional drum set, provides an added layer of exoticism, as do several guest appearances by cimbalom master Alexander Fedoriouk.
Friedlander at times deploys his cello as though it were a second horn, joining Andy Laster's alto sax for the seductive harmonies of Mancini's "Susan." Elsewhere the cellist takes on a bass-like role, complementing the unpredictable twists and turns of bassist Stomu Takeishi (Satoshi's brother), as on "Fekunk." The Atlas Cello Quartet joins Friedlander on a couple of tracks, most notably Hemphill's "Reflections," which the leader transforms into a haunting piece of chamber music. And Santana's "Golden Dawn" makes for a gorgeous all-pizzicato finale, with Friedlander unaccompanied.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.