Douglas Whates - bass
Natural Studio Records 2012
I've had recently a chance to see the duo play in Krakow and it was a beautifull evening (thank you to Opalinska & Whates and Elifantree about which in the next post in a couple of days). While during the concert the duo played as well their own compositions the "Lumiere" cd presents exclusively their readings of film music.
The music is lyrical, deeply intimate. With melodies courtesy of the likes of Krzysztof Komeda, Zbigniew Preisner, Ennio Morricone lingering on your soul and mind. Cerebral, and elegant, delicately played and subtle. Lushfull melodies like "Ballad for Bernt" or "Cinema Paradiso" manage to avoid the "too much sugar" trap. Music is gloomy, moody, foggy, charming yet hued with dark, misterious overtones (like an almost religiously majestic "Rikyu" by Toru Takemitsu, with it's spacious, open chords where the silence gets in between each note). Shady. Pure yet sophisticated, the duo flows gently through delicate, crystal clear chords, melodies and themes with finesse and thoughtfullness. Opalinska's piano usually states the melodies with subtle staccato that leaves each note slighlty suspended in the air, resonating in the silence. Whates' bass usually finds just the spots to counter-poing the main melody, yet sometimes he takes the leading, vocal part, or adds some dark hues to the melody through the slight vibrato of his long and low bowed notes.
This is music of the night, mysterious, enchanting, delicate, brooding. A beautifull selection of music (how can you not love "Cinema Paradiso" or Preisner's "A Short Film About Love"?) that soothes your soul and heart and mind. No extra-vaganza here, but something perfect for late autumn night and sip of dark strong red wine.
You can listen to the entire album on-line. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
the cd is featured in the playlist presented 10.09.12.