Jacaranda (Varese Records)
Most people will identify Trevor Rabin with his participation in legendary rock band Yes. Although Yes had been one of the leading progressive rock bands in the 1970s, by the time Rabin joined the band, it had essentially become an AOR band. I’m not a great fan of 1980s Yes so I was not very interested in Rabin’s career. However, Trevor Rabin now has my full attention as he proves that he is an excellent composer and skilled instrumentalist in his 2012 album titled Jacaranda. This is first solo effort since his 1989 recording Can’t Look Away.
On Jacaranda, Rabin demonstrates that he is a musician with an eclectic taste. His instrumental pieces range from delicious bluesy dobro solos and prog rock guitar virtuosity to high energy jazz fusion, and neoclassical music. In addition to various types of guitars (sometimes exquisitely overdubbed), Rabin also plays keyboards and bass on Jacaranda.
Even though there is not a bad track in the album, highlights include the proggy ‘Market Street’ and ‘Anerley Road’; the mesmerizing ‘Rescue’ that features Liz Constantine on vocals, creating a feel very similar to Lisa Gerrard’s (Dead Can Dance) style; the swinging ‘Freethought’; and the laid back blues ‘Zoo Lake’.
The drums were provided by renowned jazz and rock drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa), Rabin’s regular drummer Lou Molino III, and Rabin’s son Ryan Rabin (who has a band called Grouplove). Some bass parts were performed by Tal Wilkenfeld (Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock).
The booklet comes with comments about the pieces and lists the various instruments used.
Jacaranda presents an outstanding multi-instrumentalist and composer in his prime, who crosses musical boundaries at ease, developing melodies, harmonies and rhythms rich in detail.
Buy Jacaranda in North America