Sunday 15 September 2013

Shepherd’s Stories by Asaf Sirkis Trio

Asaf Sirkis Trio 

Shepherd’s Stories 

An album characterised by floating melodies, given added grace by singer Sylwia Bialas (on ‘Traveller’), and flautist Gareth Lockrane (‘Together’), but mostly held by the seamless blend of the trio. The guitar of Tassos Spiliotopoulos is gorgeous in itself, a refinement of the jazz-rock pyrotechnics of John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. Yaron Stavi is always superb, providing the anchorage that prevents the drift from aimlessness, but providing plangent countermelodies when he steps up to solo himself. But it’s the drummer/leader who lifts the performance with his astonishing accurate, nuanced rhythm-keeping. Sirkis, in the notes, mentions the ability of melody to connect directly to the soul. Melodies as luminous as ‘Meditation’ and ‘Shepherd’s Stories’ achieve this aim with quiet, understated brilliance. 

Mike Butler 

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