4

Ilia Skibinsky: The Passage

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Ilia Skibinsky: The Passage The youthful saxophonist/composer Ilia Skibinsky strikes a thoughtful pose, gazing down at his horn on the nicely designed cover of his debut, The Passage. The substitution of a much older visage would have been believable, given the depth and beauty of the playing, and the writing on the set's nine original compositions.

Born in Russia, but moving with his family to Israel in 1993, where he performed with the best of his adopted country's jazz artists, Skibinsky succumbed to the lure of the States in 2007, to attend New York's New School University on a scholarship.

Skibinsky's resume brims with television and show business work: Israeli adaptations of American Idol and Dancing with Stars, as well as working over 500 shows with Cirque Du Soleil, but the music on The Passage has a modern jazz sheen. Skibinsky, playing alto and soprano saxophones, leads a piano/bass/drums rhythm team, with guest slots for guitar, trumpet and tenor sax.

Opening with a one/two punch of "Part One" and "Two" of the title track, and joined by guest Matthew Silberman on tenor sax, the music has a sharp edge and an urgency, featuring long melodic lines and gliding rhythms.

Skibinsky's compositional voice is distinctive and consistently engaging. "Seven Skies" has a Middle-Eastern tint, with the leader's beautiful, rich tone on soprano sax up front and center, while "Beyond the Sun," a plaintive ballad, showcases Skibinsky's more introspective side and his gorgeous, hollow tone on alto saxophone. "Translucent" opens with a piano shimmer, leading into some striking two-horn harmony, with tenor man Silberman sitting in again.

A highlight of this superb debut is "When We Forget," featuring Joe Deninzon's string contributions, with Skibinsky playing piano as well as alto. The mood here is one of classical grandeur with a brooding, late night jazz tint.

With nine tunes and a mix of guest slots, The Passage could have become an unfocused mish-mash of a set, but rising star Skibinsky's sharp artist vision and stellar tune-smithing hold things together as a cohesive statement, on this excellent debut.

Track Listing: The Passage, Part 1; The Passage, Part 2; Seven Skies; When We Forget; Beyond teh Sun; Translucent; Distant Lights; Dorian Ways; What Words Cannot Express.

Personnel: Ilia Skibinsky: alto and soprano saxophones, piano (4); Glen Zaleski: piano; Edward Perez: bass; Colin Stranahan: drums; Mike Moreno: guitar (1, 2, 5); Matt Jodrell: trumpet (1, 2, 6); Matthew Silberman: tenor saxophone (1, 2, 6); Joe Deninzon: strings (4).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Mythology Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Twin Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Twin Talk
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Euro Swing Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Euro Swing Vol. 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Desertion" CD/LP/Track Review Desertion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 11, 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!