Jan. 25, 2013
Threestyle is an interesting group with an eclectic, distinct approach to jazz. Their new album Feel the Vibe has the genuine attractiveness of really good contemporary jazz/jazz fusion, some blues leanings, and even a dab of Brazilian charm on one track.
This Germany-based group consists of — at its core — the lovely Magdalena Chovancova (sax, piano, flute, keys, and vocals), Robert Fertl (guitar, bass, trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals), and Magdalena’s twin sister Gabriela sitting in on drums and vibraphone on several tracks. Other contributors include Markus Wohner on drums and percussion on the tracks where Gabriela doesn’t appear and Thomas Tiefenbacher on drums on one track.
Each track on this album is quite different from the others. While no track here is heavy-handed (not a lot of seriously funky bass runs or high-powered rhythms), everything has a fluid, airy feel with peaks of stinging notes and cool runs sprinkled throughout. The album presents much of the essence of jazz, and most will find something here that fits their respective palates.
Several tracks are my faves, including the spirited lead track “Chilling Mr. Benson,” with Fertl flashing some serious guitar skill; “Nice to be There,” with Fertl’s guitar feeding memories of the late Marvin Gaye melodies and mid-tempo groove (e.g., “What’s Goin’ On”) with saxophonist Magdalena filling in backing parts very nicely; a totally satisfying “Stratospheric Flight” which gives us a taste of Magdalena’s keys skills combined with the silkiness of Fertl’s guitar runs; and the soulfully sexy and bluesy-smooth “You Made It.“ The latter has equally strong guitar, sax, and keys deliveries from Fertl and Chovancova, not to mention a most compelling melody. The album exits with a subtly funky track, “Out of My Dreams,” a mid-tempo jam with lots of that “oomph” I sometimes mention.
I could roll off a list of other attractive pieces on this album, but just suffice it to say that this is a well-rounded project that should have broad appeal. Give it a listen for yourself, and feel the vibe. – Ronald Jackson