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Roberto Magris: World Gardens

Dan McClenaghan By

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Pianist Roberto Magris adds a percussionist to his piano trio for World Gardens, a set featuring a wide range of musical styles. Magris, born in Trieste, Italy, can best be described as an "international artist," having toured in more than forty countries. He is partially based in the United States, with his (and Paul Collins') Kansas City, Missouri-based JMood Records.

For World Gardens, Magris has chosen a variety of beautiful musical flowers, starting with "Never Can Say Goodbye," a huge pop hit for the Jackson 5 in 1971. The quartet stays close to the original melody for this reverent rendition. Magris sparkles; percussionist Pablo Sanhueza bubbles and pops on this ear-grabbing opening.

The assortment of songs and styles seems, at first blush, an odd one. Masterfully sequenced from the familiar beginning, Magris and company move into a more perilous territory on Berlin-based pianist Benny Lackners "Pilgrim," before moving into the Asian portion of the garden with "Blue Bamboo," a Yunnan folk song, arranged gorgeously by Magris for an exploration of the mysteries of the East.

The album is centerpieced by a trio of Magris-penned tunes—the spritely "Another More Blues," the enlivened "Song For An African Child," and the ebullient "Blues At Lunch—followed by the aptly-named Slovenian folk Song, "Vse Najlepse/All The Most Beautiful Flowers."

After these world travels, the music settles back into America, with a pair of familiar standards. Magris settles"I'm Glad There Is You" and "Stella By Starlight," with night settling in on the garden.

Track Listing: Never Can Say Goodbye; Pilgrim; Blue Bamboo; Another More Blues; Song For An African Child; Blues At Lunch!; Vse Najlepse Rozice / All The Most Beautiful Flowers; High Priest; I’m Glad There Is You; Stella By Starlight; Audio Notebook.

Personnel: Roberto Magris: piano; Dominique Sanders: bass; Brian Steever: drums; Pablo Sanhueza: percussions.

Title: World Gardens | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: JMOOD* RECORDS

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