Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

VEIN: VEIN plays Ravel

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), the classical French composer/arranger, was an early embracer of jazz. He included elements of the then new music into some of his own later compositions. Jazz has—since the 1940s, initially under the guise of what became called the Third Stream, pioneered in part by Gunther Schuller—often married classical stylings with the quintessentially American  music that got its start down in New Orleans.

The Swiss trio VEIN has gone full immersion with the classical side, taking Maurice Ravel's music and treating it with a flexible reverence, applying their modern VEIN-ian stamp on the  French composer's now near-century old music, with Vein Plays Ravel.

The group VEIN is a piano trio—twin brother Michael and Florian Arbenz—piano and drum, respectively—and bassist Thomas Lahns. The trio, in these particular hands, proves itself an exceptionally adept vehicle for interpretation of the classical canon. The three part "Le Tombeau de Couperin" brims with a majestic grandeur with Part 1, "Prelude;" the music shifts into a solemn, introspective mode on "Forlane," and closes on a fervid, jittery, percussive note on "Tocatta," all laid down with adept interplay and forward-leaning spirit. "Blues" has a melancholy hue, with some gorgeous and sporadic (rather than rhythmic) castanet-like percussion.

With Ravel's perhaps most famous composition, "Bolero," VEIN bolsters the ensemble with a quintet of reed and brass instruments, and creates the set's highlight. Andy Sheppard's saxophone takes the initial lead on this sixteen minute-plus jewel. Opening with a spare approach—the trio displaying a perfect cohesion—measured brass and reed solos follow, then multi-horn interplay as subtle (initially; it evolves into the gutsy and anthemic) and as inspired, arrangement-wise, as you'll hear, from Ellington through Gil Evans to VEIN and Company.

The music of Maurice Ravel proves itself a prime inspiration for the group VEIN and its guests.   

Track Listing: Prelude; Forlane; Toccata; Blues; Bolero; Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte; Movement De Minuet; 5 O'Clock Foxtrott

Personnel: Michael Arbenz: Piano; Thomas Lähns: Bass; Florian Arbenz: Drums;

Title: VEIN plays Ravel | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Challenge Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "O Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review O Horizonte
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Insufficient Funs" CD/LP/Track Review Insufficient Funs
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene" CD/LP/Track Review On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor