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Treya Quartet: Treya Quartet Plays Gabriel Faure

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Album Review

The Treya Quartet is an international jazz combo consisting of trumpet/flügelhorn, piano, bass, and drums (with additional hammered dulcimer and bodhran), so there might be a few raised eyebrows among classical listeners who anticipate a different kind of ensemble. Lest there be any doubt, no one should expect a recording of Gabriel Fauré's String Quartet. Instead, this is an album of his mélodies or songs, which have been arranged as jazz ballads. The idea may seem odd at first, until one realizes that the harmonies and melodies of these songs are not far removed from the norms of cool jazz and that it only takes a modest adjustment of chords, instrumentation, and improvisation to carry these quasi-impressionist art songs of the fin de siècle into this mode of expression. Paolo Fresu's plaintive flügelhorn tone and simple, wispy phrasing may well bring to mind the intimate style of Miles Davis, and Peter Waters' eloquent and discreet piano has some of the classical crossover appeal of John Lewis or Dave Brubeck. Tony Overwater's bass and Gilbert Paeffgen's drums provide a solid foundation yet have enough rhythmic fluidity and agility to encompass a variety of patterns. The most familiar melody of the album is the subdued Pavane, usually heard in its orchestral version, so this will provide easy access for most classical listeners. However, it is fair to say that this disc is oriented toward an audience of jazz fans and casual listeners, so purists will likely pass it by. ~Blair Sanderson, Rovi

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