Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Phillips/Pabian/Mulvenna – Fading Light (2017)


Dan Phillips - guitar
Krzysztof Pabian - double bass
Tim Mulvenna - drums

Fading Light


By Adam Baruch

This is the fourth album by American guitarist/composer Dan Phillips and his trio with Polish (resident in US) bassist Krzysztof Pabian and American drummer Tim Mulvenna. The album presents eight original compositions, all by the leader.

The music is a highly sophisticated Jazz-Rock Fusion, with a lot of space for improvisation and excellent guitar riffs, which make it highly accessible in spite of its complex contents. The basic melodic themes stated at the beginning of each track are than expanded by the trio into lengthy improvisations, which remain coherent and highly organized for the entire duration.

The individual performances are brilliant all the way through. Phillips manages to create a unique guitar sound, which includes a lot of reverb and echo, quite different from most straightforward Jazz / Fusion guitar sounds used by other players. Although he plays quite densely there is enough space left to be able to hear the brilliant bass and drums parts, which are nothing short of virtuosity. Pabian builds a solid ground upon which the entire sound of the trio is based, playing often shoulder to shoulder with the guitar at the same level of complexity. His plucking sound is round and beautifully melodic and his arco work (which he sadly uses way too seldom) is superb. Mulvenna is a very busy drummer and yet he manages to stay at the same level of intensity with the trio members, ornamenting the tunes with his polyrhythmic, but perfectly timed drum parts.

Overall this is a brilliant Fusion album, which offers a unique musical concept and sound, something very rarely found these days. Guitar freaks, Fusion lovers and music connoisseurs in general should really enjoy this album in full, especially in view of the fact that it reaches a limited audience in today's highly competitive and narrow minded music market and deserves to do much better. Highly recommended!

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