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By Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman
Label: Heart Dance Records
Released 4/15/2016
Trialogue tracks
1. Cote d'Ivoire
2. Mending Fences
3. Midnight in Marrakech
4. Confused
5. Dark Horse
6. Top Down
7. Alger St.
8. Woodland Lake
9. Thanks for Asking
10. Wolf Haven
Finzer, Mahoney and Clipman - Trialogue
Flutist Sherry Finzer, best known (to ZMR followers) for her ambient/meditative music, e.g. her Sanctuary series and her excellent desert-themed recording with guitarist Darin Mahoney, Transformation, reveals a kick-up-yer-heels aspect to her musical persona on the energizing, delightful excursion into world beat/jazz fusion territory, Trialogue. Joining her are the aforementioned acoustic guitar wonder Mahoney and world-class percussionist and drummer Will Clipman. If you know anything about Clipman, you can well imagine the rhythmic party you are in for on this disc. However, what is a revelation is both Finzer's and Mahoney's talent across a variety of genres and styles of music beyond the haunting beauty of their collaboration on Transformation.

Part of that may be due to the influence of master-class drummer Clipman who has dazzled me with his percussive artistry back to the days when I first heard him as part of the William Eaton Ensemble. This man's talent across a global-encompassing assortment of drums and percussion instruments is nothing short of amazing! Of course, Finzer, as the saying goes, is not chopped liver. She matches Clipman step for step, with ease I might add. And Mahoney, while he may not share the spotlight as often as his two co-stars, provides such solid support that his contributions cannot be minimized.

No matter what the mood, tempo, flavor or subgenre of any one track on Trialogue, the overall feeling I got every time I listened to this fantastic album is one of fun, the fun that artists who are truly tuned in and simpatico experience when their wavelengths intersect and merge. It's apparent on the jazz fusion opener, "Code d'lvoire" with its "joie de vivre" sensibility and its carefree melody as well as on track two "Mending Fences" and its reflective guitar-driven opening which evolves into a soft rocking tune. "Midnight in Marrakech" pulses under Clipman's sensual world beat rhythms on frame drum and Finzer's sexy snaky flute lines, accented by Mahoney's rhythm guitar work. Where "Confused" has an ambling melancholic feel to it, "Dark Horse" uses Finzer's flute to paint a distinctly western musical landscapes, accented by Clipman's trap kit drum underpinnings. "Top Down" has the breezy easy-going nature of the titular trip down highway 1 in a Mustang GT convertible - not too revved up but certainly movin' down the road. The easy-going sound of "Thanks for Asking" speaks of three musicians who are not just on the same page but are of the same mind.

Trialogue is one of those recordings that I can reach for no matter my mood. It’s like a well-worn pair of sneakers—nondescript but oh so essential to my enjoying any trip I set out on: three artists who sync up and create musical magic, seamlessly merging jazz, world, and new age in a hybrid that provides hours of listening enjoyment. Who needs a dialogue when you can have a trialogue?
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 1/25/2017
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