Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Adrean Farrugia & Joel Frahm Blued Dharma

Adrean Farrugia & Joel Frahm
Blued Dharma

The well respected saxophonist Frahm and the Canadian pianist Farrugia have been musical compatriots since 2008 as part of various groups of drummer (and publicist Ernesto Cervini). As Cervini observes in his liner notes for this release, the two display a very sympathetic relationship playing off each other, almost like they are finishing off each other's sentences, on these intimate, duet performances.

The performances of five Farrugia originals and two standards (there are two performances of "Cherokee") display charm as well as considerable musical vision and inspiration. Farrugia's title track is a lovely composition with Frahm on soprano saxophone as both build their solos upon Farrugia's alluring melody. Then there are the two very different takes of "Cherokee," with the two taking apart and reconstructing the classic Ray Noble melody in each case.

Frahm imbues his tenor sax with a sensuous tone that hints at Ben Webster on a lovely ballad "For Murray Gold," while Farrugia's introduction to the standard "Nobody Else But Me," has a Monkish flavor, before his precise accompaniment to another lovely Frahm tenor saxophone solo, It is followed by Farrugia own choice solo here with his mix of arpeggios and well-placed chords. Farrugia's "Cool Beans" sounds like a contrafact to John Coltrane's "Equinox," and is a spirited blues duet with more excellent tenor sax by Frahm along with Farrugia's tasteful, inventive solo.

This piano-saxophone duet recording by Adrean Farrugia and Joel Frahm is a superb display of the musical magic from these two close musical collaborators.

Received as a download from a publicist. This review appeared in the July-August 2018 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 379). I have made minor revisions to the published review. Here the two are playing together as part of Ernesto Cervini's excellent group, Turboprop.

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