Tarek Yamani Trio: Ashur (2012)
Yamani's recognition is well-deserved. He plays with cognitive flair, opening a melody in a vibrant pool of rich harmonic ideas and never shies from being adventurous. On this trio recording, he plays five originals and reshapes a pop tune, three jazz standards and pays homage to Bach. He also makes a change in the piano trio format dispensing with the bass for the tuba of Goran Krmac.
On "Giant Trane," his tribute to John Coltrane, Yamani improvises around emphatic chords and then dips into the bright melody abetted by the crisp drumming of Kristijan Krajncan before adding some sumptuous bop. His conceptualization of Coltrane's "26-2" is stylistically assured. He escarps the melody with hard-hitting chords and then slides into context moving through modes as the music billows and sways. His variations ooze sinew and flex as he brings in a breath of fresh air to the composition.
"Sama'i Yamani" lyrically balances Arabic motifs and flamenco moods. Yamani divines the two and balances them with textured flair that finds jauntiness complemented by dreamy interlocutions and driving surges.
Yamani is a dynamic performer with an intuitive feel for melodicism and development. This makes him worth watching.
Track Listing: Passegiatta; 26-2; Sama’I Yamani; East of the Sun; Giant Trane; Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime; Ashur; Dexterity; Dabke in Eb Nakriz; Prelude No. II in C Minor.
Personnel: Tarek Yamani: piano; Goran Krmac: tuba; Kristijan Krajncan: drums.
Record Label: Edict Records