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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

CD Review: Alan Benzie Trio - Traveller's Tales

Alan Benzie (pno/comp); Andrew Robb (bs); Marton Juhasz (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Not your usual piano trio album - far from it. If anything, it borders almost as much on contemporary classical music as it does jazz. Almost, but not quite. The improvisation is there, the touch delicate and probing - as becomes the 2007 Young Scottish Musician of the Year - painting a musical picture of  Benzie's travels be they in Scotland or Japan.
In some ways it is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett's recent solo album Creations although the addition of bass and drums here make it a much more accessible collection. 
The titles reflect the music to a T. Hazy Dawns; Old Haunts; A Wandering Mist; Midnight Café are just some of the more descriptive ones - at times I could almost smell the heather or taste the saki.
A Berklee graduate, and a recipient of the prestigious Billboard award at that famed seat of learning - the first Brit to do so - Benzie will also be remembered locally from his Schmazz gigs at the Cluny with the Patrick Kunka Quartet and the Leah Gough-Cooper Band. Here, he comes across as an inventive pianist and a creative composer devoid of cliches ably assisted by long time collaborators Robb and Juhasz.
Lance.

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