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The Girshevich Trio

Algorithmic Society

TAPESTRY 76026-2 [59:34]

 

 

 

 

 

Healing The Chaos [7:03]

A Rainbow on Your Carpet [6:26]

When We Are Kids [6:37]

300 years Ago [7:34]

A Far Away place [5:56]

Three Musketeers [8:19]

A Song of an Old Tree [6:27]

Unborn Tales [5:36]

Algorithmic Society [5:34]

Vlad Girshevich (piano, synthesizers), Aleks Girshevich (drums), Eddie Gomez (acoustic bass)

Special guest on Healing The Chaos, Rony Barrak (darbouka, riq, daf)

rec. at FTM studios in Lakewood, Colorado, USA on March 20, 2014

strings recorded separately at Royal Recording, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA on March 20, 2014

 

I hadn’t come across this trio before or its leader Vlad Girshevich but am glad I have now. Vlad was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in Soviet times and received his musical education there at the prestigious Uspenski music school where he studied classical music for 11 years. He followed this with a further two years at Tashkent State Conservatory before his family emigrated to the US in the mid ‘90s. He was heard by Herbie Hancock who invited him to take part in the Thelonius Monk Institute; say no more! He has released 7 solo piano albums and has appeared as sideman on 5 more. This first trio album where he is leader was preceded by another trio album led by, wait for it...his eleven year-old son, drummer, Aleks! It is Aleks who is drummer on this album too (aged 12) together with bass legend Eddie Gomez, which says it all since who of his stature would be prepared to play with someone as young if he wasn’t something special and he certainly is. All the 9 tunes on the album are by Vlad Girshevich or son Aleks (I wish it said which his were though clearly father and son think alike musically). They are really engaging and show Vlad’s piano playing prowess to perfection and Eddie Gomez’s bass is a beautifully measured anchor while son Alek’s drumming is simply astonishing and listening you cannot fail to find yourself having to continually remind yourself that you are listening to a 12 year-old. I urge you to check the following out: https://engb.facebook.com/AleksGirshevich/ where you can watch the recording of Healing The Chaos and see this drumming phenomenon in action; prepare to be blown away while thinking ‘he must have been here before’.

1. The overdubbed strings grated at first since I found them superfluous and rather contrived but they have grown on me and in any case do not appear on every track and where they do now seem totally relevant. The opening number Healing The Chaos embodies a whiff of the orient, possibly/probably Uzbek inspired and which has an interesting burst of percussion in the form of the darbouka (or goblet drum) from the Middle-East, riq (an Arabic tambourine) and daf (a Persian frame drum) courtesy of Rony Barrak on whose album Darbouka City Vlad was pianist.

I often find that the new and original works in Jazz that I like best are those I think I already know but clearly couldn’t do and that goes for every one of these nine compositions. Jazz trios exist of course but there aren’t too many and when they’re good they’re very, very good and this is an example. There is a wonderfully adjusted balance between the three, none of whom is given the opportunity to hog the limelight; each has his spot when not playing as a vital harmonious link in this short but perfect chain. Every track is a winner but I really loved some gorgeous bowed bass playing from Eddie Gomez in A Song of an Old tree with the piano playing a five note riff at intervals throughout the piece. The Three Musketeers which Vlad explains represents three generations defending the ‘honor of music’ also has some wonderfully melodic touches that will not fail to endear it to you. 300 Years Ago is another beautiful tune with some very fine pianism on display from Vlad more than ably backed by this fabulous rhythm section comprising a two-time Grammy award winning 72 year-old Puerto-Rican born bassist who spent eleven years with Bill Evans and a 12 year-old drummer the two of whose synergy seems innate. The album’s title track is Algorithmic Society and the dictionary definition of an algorithm is: A finite set of unambiguous instructions that, given some set of initial conditions, can be performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a certain goal which seems to pretty well sum the whole enterprise up nicely apart from being another damn good tune. This is a disc that grows on you and becomes more beguiling with every subsequent listen so prepare to be captivated. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a jazz disc more.

Steve Arloff


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