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That Magic Thread by MRC Trio

For many years, drummer/percussionist Barry Romberg has been a fixture on the Canadian jazz scene. That Magic Thread has him exploring new territory with an interesting group of musicians. Each track is broken down into scenes which make up an act. There are four acts that make up That Magic Thread. Trumpet player Kevin Turcotte and sax player Rob Mosher both make guest appearances.

Act 1 scene 1 is a brief intro, setting the stage for what we might expect. The music is breathing throughout. Marsh's cosmic effects and Cappadocia's deep cello add a haunting quality that remains the undercurrent of the entire recording. In scene 2 the music gets more funky as each musician has an opportunity to explore. Romberg's effective drumming acts as a foundation for Marsh to take off into his usual forward sounding style of playing. Tickling the bow along the way, a groove is established. In scene 3 Romberg's bebop patterns give Marsh the opportunity to swing openly and demonstrate why he has always been a highly sought after violinist. Always in control and well grounded, he solo's with joy and infectious enthusiasm. Scene 4 closes out Act 1 with Romberg's effective drum work. Again, we find Marsh creating a velvet underlay bringing Act 1 to a sweet and enjoyable close.

With an Indian flavor, Romberg creates a hypnotic rhythmic pattern to open Act 2. Tablas dance across the soundstage, before Turcotte's subdued trumpet offers a new dimension with which to deal with. An aural oasis. There is much going on here. Marsh and Cappadocia offer haunting sounds, teasing the ear and always flowing. Mosher's contribution adds even more of an angle to this delight. Act 2 is certainly a highlight with it's winding twists, fine musicianship and surprises.

That Magic Thread is a fine example of what can happen when five of Canada's finest get together and make engaging music that both stimulates and provokes. Barry Romberg is not only a fine drummer/ percussionist, but also a fine composer.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: MRC Trio
  • CD Title: That Magic Thread
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: RomHog Records
  • Tracks: Act 1 scenes 1-4, Act 2, Act 3 scenes 1-5, Act 4 scenes 1-3
  • Musicians: Hugh Marsh (violin/ effects), Barry Romberg (drums/ percussion/ electric percussion), Rufus Cappadocia (5 string cello), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Rob Mosher (soprano sax)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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