Standards by Hermann Schamp and Tcha Limberger duo
‘Sometimes it takes critics and serious listeners of music a few extra revolutions of the earth to catch onto the art of certain musicians. The stunning repertoire of the young Gypsy multi-instrumentalist and composer, Tcha Limberger is a case in point. A prodigious talent from his very early years, when her performed with the family band, Di Piotto’s Limberger has made waves with his mature artistry on guitar, violin as well as with his sensitive vocals. His last two albums for the British label Lejazzetal, Bura Termett Ido, by Tcha Limberger’s Gypsy Orchestra (2009) followed by the path breaking, A Hajnali Csillag Ragyog: Laments, Czardas and Szaporas from the Transylvanian region of Kalotaszeg, by Tcha Limberger’s Kalotaszeg Trio (2009) created a stir in the artistic circles of Europe. Although the geographical isolation of America may account for the limited recognition of Limberger’s genius, added to that the fact that Gypsy music and Hungarian and Transylvanian music may be confined to aficionados of the music of Bela Bartok.
However, with his duo album, Standards, Limberger returns combines Gypsy repertoire of Django Reinhardt with the American songbook. In the seven duets with the legendary classical and jazz guitarist from Holland, Herman Schamp the two musicians take apart the melodies and remake the standards in stunning new fashion. The near ceaseless improvisations on classic songs such as Jimmy McHugh’s “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” Joseph Kosma’s “Les Feuilles Mortes – (Autumn Leaves)” and on the Reinhardt classic, “Nuages” are simply staggering. Kosma’s tune, “Clair de Lune” has its melody all but recast anew and it is the flutter of occasional oblique phrasing that gives the song its original shape. In fact there are times when it would appear that the guitarists create from one brain. So attuned to each other’s voice is each of the musicians. But something elemental sets each guitarist apart from the other.
Limberger’s accents are soulful and come from his vernacular. The inflections are subtle. Notes are elastic and bent to suit deeply-felt emotions. His phrases are far from linear and leap like mythical beings from peak to peak, sometimes plunging into musical troughs that mimic the earth’s stupendous topography. Schamp is more statuesque in his approach to the songs, yet his choice of notes borders on the spiritual. His expression and dynamic is like a force of nature that rises and falls in counterpoint to Limberger’s. The result is two voices entwined like a double-helix, pirouetting as each sighs with ponderous feeling and shrieks with unfettered joy.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the album is the way that the music unfolds. In doing so, songs seem to unfurl like diaphanous fabrics as the melodies and harmonies are woven with special attention to sound and silence. This is a formidable album that takes on the tried and most tested avenue of the Art of the Standard and breaks new ground in its approach to melody and harmony in a truly memorable fashion.’
RAUL DE GAMA
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