|Artist:||Asaf Sirkis Trio|
|Date of Release:||2013/07/17|
|Cat. No.:||SBPT 008|
|Country of Release:||UK|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Fusion, Contemporary, Progressive|
|Date of Review:||2013/04/28|
To be released on 17th July this year, the Asaf Sirkis Trio's Shepherd's Stories is their long and eagerly awaited third album.
Coming almost three years after the last, Letting Go, this album seems, and indeed is, 'taylor-made' for the individual players - Tassos Spiliotopoulos, guitars, Yaron Stavi, electric bass, and of course Asaf Sirkis himself on an extended drum rig - and in that sense, it is also much more deliberate, decisive. Having been together for six years now of course would have generated a much greater familiarity and intimacy than previously.
The inspiration behind Shepherd's Stories, according to Sirkis, is his long obsession with the way melodies affect us, with the way a melody can, and often does, remind us of something from the past - perhaps not necessarily another melody - that we can't quite identify, a kind of feeling of déjà vu. Sirkis calls this the 'Shepherd's Stories' effect. This forms an albeit very loose concept for the album. Not in the usual sense of a 'concept album,' but nonetheless, a loose, almost insubstantial kind of concept. The 'Shepherd's Stories' effect can put us in touch with our collective consciousness, as Sirkis puts it, a greater consciousness and long lost memories.
If you know the previous trio albums well, there seems to be a straight line of development, of evolution, going through from the first to Shepherd's Stories, and even back from the earlier albums with the Inner Noise trio. There is a much greater emphasis on the melody here, in the trio's playing as well as the underscoring of it by special guests, vocalist Sylwia Bialas, flautist Gareth Lockrane, and last but by no means least keyboard master John Turville's ever-fluid, lyrical keys, all on selected tracks. At the same time, the influence of konakol, the Carnatic or South Indian art of rhythmic vocalisation, both on the compositions and Sirkis' playing, is more pronounced than ever. This makes for an exquisite combination of both highly developed, often intricate melodies and rhythms.
Shepherd's Stories is Sirkis' most highly evolved and finest album to date. It is also the Asaf Sirkis Trio's most riveting album yet, which mesmerises and won't let go. There is a compulsion to play this album again and again, for both its pronounced 'Shepherd's Stories' or déjà vu effect and its sheer beauty. Not to forget premier drummer Sirkis' exquisite trap work of course.
The Asaf Sirkis Trio's Shepherd's Stories is not only brilliant but an absolute must have! It's one of those albums that's just to die for, to put it simply. And as the album comes in a nice digipak, go get the CD (rather than digital download) either at one of the trio's gigs or from Sirkis' web site as soon as available. And don't miss the tour for the album, either! Sirkis is a phenomenon that has to be seen live, along with his superlative trio.
1. 1801 - 8:28
Credits:Asaf Sirkis - drums
Yaron Stavi - electric bass
Tassos Spiliotopoulos - electric & acoustic guitars
Sylwia Bialas - vocals (3)
Gareth Lockrane - flute (6)
John Turville - Fender Rhodes (1 & 5)
Shepherd's Stories can be purchased from:
Amazon UK (MP3)
Probably better CD stores
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