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Skibinsky, Ilia: The Passage

Russian born musician Ilia Skibinsky is one of the finest young sax players I have heard in recent years. He moved to Israel in 1993 and finally New York in 2007. His new album was written during the past ten years so it has been quiet a long process and yes, the wait has been worth it.

If you like sax, this is an album for you. Whether the playing is slow and luxurious or set at a blistering pace, the musicianship is of a very high quality. That goes for the other band members as well. Skibinsky leads his band like a veteran, reaching new heights while letting all his band members shine like diamonds in the rough.

The album begins with the melodic jazz of "The Passage part 1". The sound is contemporary while still retaining a classic edge. From the beginning Skibinsky shows his considerable chops as his sax lines burst through the rhythmic patterns with a controlled fury. In "The Passage part 2", trumpet and saxophone trade blistering solos while "Seven Skies", the albums longest piece, is more spacious, giving all the instruments room to breathe. Multiple lines of sax and trumpet gives the piece an added complexity. For a bit of nostalgia try the classic-style ballad "When We Forget" or for something a little more complex, "Dorian Ways" should do the trick. It features Glen Zaleski's exceptional piano and more stellar sax work. The soloing is great throughout the disc but never at the expense of the innate musicality present in all nine tracks.

The Passage is an excellent jazz record. Complex enough to satisfy those craving something a little more sophisticated yet still highly listenable with some excellent melodies and fine craftsmanship. Jazz fans should take notice.

Track Listing:
1. The Passage part 1 (4:30)
2. The Passage part 2 (4:46)
3. Seven Skies (9:58)
4. When We Forget (6:46)
5. Beyond The Sun (8:07)
6. Translucent (7:33)
7. Distant Lights (7:54)
8. Dorian Ways (9:44)
9. What Words Cannot Express (6:19)

Added: June 28th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1348
Language: english

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