Classically trained but open to a little bit of everything, violinist Clara Kebabian's solo release, Symbiotica, is actually an anthology of her work with a number of groups. This, however, is no impediment to anything, as the panoply presented, from Ululate with the Mr. Curt Ensemble (here), a residency, to a collaboration with the bird-on-a-wire voiced Bonnie Gordon to a cover of the Beatles' Blue Jay Way (which, along with the Who's exquisite Underture, is a criminally undersung composition), there's forever a floating quality to her playing even with the roots and gypsy refrains she favors inextricably linked.
Some tracks are out and out progressive, as in Temper's Looks Aren't Everything, others are Gaelic (Township's The Happy Pumpkin), a few just plain ol' cool rock-folk (Emily Grogan's Restless Souls), and so on through an array of styles. More than once, Vicki Richards' gentle refrains were quite evident, but then so were Ben Mink's licks in his work with the ultracool pop/prog/rock band FM. As Kebabian notes in the liner, her presence goes from near-invisibility, subsumed in background strings, to blazing soloing. Her real gift, though, is in the washes of atmosphere she imbues each cut with, measurably expanding each and every song.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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