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The Vortex Sessions

The Vortex Sessions

Pianist Benjamin Taubkin and percussionist Adriano Adewale both come from São Paulo but met at the Vortex club in north London, where as the title infers, this recording was made. There’s nothing like meeting a fellow compatriot a long way from home to bring out a sense of camaraderie, and this seems to have worked rather well here. The album opens with their take on ‘Blue In Green’, adding ‘In Yellow’ to the title and drawing it out to nearly 14 minutes, skirting around the theme and delivering an involving, articulate expression that revolves around Taubkin’s solid left hand, but explores unfamiliar terrain in an upbeat style. 

That’s what sets this album apart. It charts unfamiliar musical waters, but refuses to take itself too seriously. Piano and percussion alone is an unusual combination, but a rather effective one when executed by musicians of this ilk. They have excellent feel and fine rhythmic sensibilities which keep them together whatever the vibe. Adewale plays a single string bow which adds another texture and tonality to the finale of four pieces. At just under 37 minutes, this is a short but sweet album that’s nicely recorded and ripe with Brazilian charm. 

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