Bird is the Worm – Dave Sumner

Lots of tiny surprises on this new release by the Diab Quintet. The rhythms are much like you’d expect from an album that has the word ‘tango’ in it’s title. The cadences shuffle and swing and shoot forward with a remarkable grace to match its speed. What the quintet does with the melodies, however, is what sets this album apart. The way that the melody is introduced on the title-track with a slow, thick pour is an attention grabber, but it’s how they modulate the melodic expressions as a way of altering the perception of the cadence’s pace that sparks the magic. Another example is how the tuneful melody of “Oeil de Lynx” eventually overtakes the tempo and becomes the song’s driving force.

Additionally, the subtle blends of non-tango influences add all kinds of soft colors and light textures to the affair. “Valse 9″ and “Maple Leaves” have a strong folk influence and “Down the Rock” kicks up some pop music dramatics. Led by Jonathan De Neck and his diatonic accordion, the prevailing sound has a welcoming presence, even during those moments during Seagull Tango when the intensity begins to surge.

Enjoyable from first note to last.

Your album personnel: Jonathan De Neck (diatonic accordion), Esinam Dogbatse (flute, percussion), Sébastien Taminiau (violin, double bass), Corentin Dellicour (cello) and Rui Salgado (double bass, guitar).

By Dave Sumner

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