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Scratching The Surface by Mirobolus String Trio

Soothing harmonic elegance with an underpinning of jazz free spirit, the Mirobolus String Trio produces beautiful music of classic distinction. The first track of the CD, "Diaphanous Charms," composed by bassist Bret Higgins, has a pulsating upbeat rhythm in support of some blistering violin runs and augmented with a finger picking accented dynamic. The style of play reminds me of a tabla within a mideast timbre and leads into a warm, full-sounding cello part that flows smoothly towards the meeting of the other musicians to gently end the song with a percussive rhythm accented with a final violin statement.

Cellist Monica Fedrigo composed the next track "Begin," a slow-paced ballad, very melancholy in the begining. This is the longest song of the CD at just over eight minutes. The song flies and soars. It has numerous components to it. The tempo picks up midway through the song. The violin and cello play off each other magnificently with great moments of passion captured in the recording. The violin takes over, producing great dynamics. Bass player Higgins maintains a solid rhythm and driving beat just to the background. The recording quality is excellent, well mixed and mastered, a brilliant reproduction.

There are many interesting string effects that I can only guess as to how they are produced. Bowing tricks that squeal, squawk, growl and roar from one or all of either violin, bass or cello. Plucking techniques that make wonderful percussive sounds and glide into rapid strumming or bowing technique to create an avant-garde jazz resemblance aided in many cases by a jazz bass melodic approach. These are not the norm, but are nicely added tasteful components that make compartmentalizing this CD difficult.

Jazz, blues, classical, world, most definitely quality music and musicians producing music that is superlative. An eye-opening, ear-enchanting listen that deserves a place in your music collection.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mirobolus String Trio
  • CD Title: Scratching The Surface
  • Genre: New Age
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Anaglyph Records
  • Tracks: Diaphanous Charms, Begin, Hell’s Backbone, Triptych, Hank’s Next Prank, Adamar, Housey’s Rapids
  • Musicians: Bogdan Djukic (violin), Monica Fedrigo (cello), Bret Higgins (double bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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