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Matthew Ruddick

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Thursday, 10 December 2015 06:48

Robert Sabin - Humanity Part II

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US bass player Robert Sabin delves deep into the soul.

When one listens to Humanity Part II, one needs to realize one thing: it will be a difficult journey, dark, stumbling onto sounds and memories one didn’t know one had, but towards the end one will gain a “freedom of mind and soul”.   

This album, by American bassist Robert Sabin and his tentet, is truly moody and sombre, an exercise in how to delve deep into one’s subconscious.

The album comprises six tracks of approximately 47 mins or so. Advice: brace yourselves, dear listeners. Yet another example of how multi-layered the world of jazz can be. 

Robert’s initiation in jazz is unusual: he was listening to a lot of radio and watching television.  

What I find stunning is the simplicity of sound mixed the intricacy of the narration. The title track arranged by Sabin is a composition by the wondrous Ennio Morricone and, by Jove, this rendition stands by itself. 

“I have always been affected by film music,” says Sabin, and this comes out loud and clear on Humanity Part II

The tracks Through A Glass Darkly and Ghosts are my particularly favourites; the penetrative performances of Jason Rigby on tenor sax needs to be highlighted.   

But then Tenebre, the last but one track on this compact album, comes on and it grips one. A dark influence by one of the monsters of the horror cinema, Dario Argento. Dan Urness and Matt Holman’s trumpets are haunting.

Who has read In A Glass Darkly by the fantastic James Le Fanu? I was reminded of this when I listened to this track. Le Fanu: a master of the suspence and terror stories and a particular favourite of mine. But Sabin is reminiscing Ingmar Bergman’s film trilogy here. Not an easy task, but a brave and successful one.

Humanity Part II is encompassing, dangerously dark, but an absolute must for the ears, the mind AND the soul.


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