Resurgence Grace Music/Planet
THIS latest album from well-established Sydney group Resurgence, led by esteemed pianist Mark Isaacs, maintains the same quintet personnel as its 2011 recording, Aurora, with one addition: vocalist Briana Cowlishaw. Also continued is the growing repertoire of Isaacs’s melodic compositions, including lyrics for one song. The frontline of saxophonist Matt Keegan and James Muller on guitar is as good as ever, and Tim Firth on drums with bassist Brett Hirst ensure ritmo perfecto. The mood is often subdued, melancholy and invariably soothing, perking up occasionally, such as on a sprightly Gnosis using strong, driving solos from sax, guitar and piano. The ethereal vocal sounds of Cowlishaw add a further dimension to three of the nine tracks, notably on You Never Forget Love, a romantic ballad reprised as the final number. On
First Light the wordless vocals are scripted as an additional instrument, rising, hovering and soaring mystically among the others. The title track,
Duende, also reprised, gives the piano introspective freedom to ruminate in a sombre piece with anguished, almost classical harmonies. The same applies to The Beloved as it drifts dreamily through Muller’s flowing guitar embellishments and the piano’s embroidery. New
Lives the longest track at just under 10 minutes, is more joyful, with a sparkling piano and guitar bounding into the opening before the sax arrives with the theme and then a solo accompanied by just drums. Throughout the collection Isaacs’s expert piano supplies pleasing quantities of variation and motile interest, spreading big chords and elaborating melodically, often delightfully, on his always engrossing compositions.