FAME Review: Triosence with Sara Gazarek - Where Time Stands Still
Triosence with Sara Gazarek - Where Time Stands Still

Where Time Stands Still

Triosence with Sara Gazarek

Charleston Square Recordings - CSR0420

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

I'm not sure if 'Triosence' is a portmanteau—the band at root is, according to the lit, indeed a trio, though there's a total of eight musicians in various configurations, but is also German and so there may be other linguistic elements at play than conflating 'trio' with 'essence'—but I dig the coinage in any event. The ensemble players here are on the ascendent in their homeland and Europe, basing in jazz but infusing folk, world, and other musics into the framework. Thus, it isn't too surprising, with such a searching nature, that they ran across recordings of vocalist Sara Gazarek half a world away, a Los Angelesan, and initiated what has become Time Stands Still.

What really interested the ensemble was Gazarek's translucent vocals, crystalline, upbeat, and very sonorously capable. Track 3, You're My Spring, is where this first becomes most apparent, a mellow but complicated cut in its demands on the singer, which she handles brilliantly, ranging high to low in the twinkle of an eye with no end of permutations, the band, especially leader-pianist Bernard Schuler, laying out the path Sara wends her way through. The follower, Morning Star, is the female equivalent of a Kenny Rankin song and could easily have appeared in his classic Silver Morning LP. Like the Wind is much the same but more Michael Tomlinson-esque, a tune Lani Hall might have tackled in a pensive mood. The track contains richly delicate beauty as the instrumental mid-section expands the foggy lighting of the ambiance, Gazarek's wispy voice as gentle and soothing as a mother singing a child to sleep.

Sara's tone and spirit are very similar to a singer with the late 70s fusion band Turning Point: Pepe Lemer. Though Lemer engaged almost exclusively in melismatics, the consonace of the two is nonetheless striking, each possessed of the sort of tonalities we'd expect in latinate chanteuses like Astrud Gilberto, but here well outside that particular mode. There aren't many singers of Gazarek's ilk lately—you might even have to go back to The Misty Miss Christy, June Christy, and the era to find comparatives, but the entirety of Where Time Stands Still is shot through with wistfulness, allure, elegance, and a finesse that bridges the old and cherished with the new and enticing.

Track List:

  • I Can't Explain (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Summer Song (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • You're my Spring (Schuler / Gazarek / Schuler)
  • Morning Star (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Like the Wind (Schuler / Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Only One Evening (Gazarek / Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Only Friends (Schuler / Gazarek / Gazarek)
  • Maybe there's a Princess Waiting (Schuler / Gazarek / Schuler)
  • You'll See You (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • You Alone (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Let It In (Schuler / Gazarek)
  • Where Time Stands Still (Schuler / Gazarek / Schuler)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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