FUN ON THE FRETS…Yuto Kanazawa: Earthworks, Albino Mbie: Mozambican Dance

Here are a couple guitarists from Interrobang Records. They each have an approach to the axe that sounds fresh and contributory to the present scene.

Guitarist Yuto Kanazaw writes all of the material on this impressive outing with the post-bop team of Zwelakhe-Duma Bell le Pere/b, Jonathan Pinson/dr, Mario Castro/ts and Felix Pekli/cl-bcl. There are some nifty and tightly wound and tricky tunes l ike “Floating Twice” and the bopping “Opener” , which demonstrate some deft guitar workings and sounds. Bell le Pere’s bass works well with Castro’s tenor on “Desert Front” whle Pekli’s bass clarinet broods gloriously on “Pavane.” There are two takes of the very intriguing “Truth and The Abstract Blues” one is an instrumental bopping driver, and the other with Kurt Elling’s vocals scatting along with the melody. Either is a beaut, and this disc is one to make you want to see this band in concert. Come on down to LA!

Albino Mbie sings as well as plays a lithe and lilting Southern African sounding guitar with a team that includes Chuks Opku/b and aotating team of drummers, percussionists, horn players and vocalists. The sound is upbeat, fresh and flexible as on the exciting and percolating “Prayer for Japan”,  and skipping “Awusiwana” which are also enhanced by a fragrant string section. Mbie shows some impressive  fusion guitar work on “Celebration” while some spacey work with David Neves/tp and Lihi Haruvie/ss coalesce with vocals on “Mbilo & Kaya” a lovely pairing of Mbie and Tomer Ron’s tp with Tracy Robertson/s backing vocals make the gentle “Rebirth” and intimate delight. An optimistic charmer here mixing style with substance

Interrobang Records

Leave a Reply