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Aki Ishiguro guitar
Peter Schwebs bass
Rodrigo Recabarren drums

American-Japanese guitarist Aki Ishiguro, German bassist Peter Schwebs and Chilean drummer Rodrigo Recabarren recorded their debut album MURAL in March of 2015 at Systems Two in Brooklyn, New York. 

MURAL is a collective group made of three rising jazz stars in New York. The band showcases each members' virtuosic instrumental skills as well as their refined compositions. Subtle influences of European classical music, Japanese folk, and South American rhythms are just one the culmination of the multiple nationalities and cultures represented in the trio. The group’s collaboration is apparent through their balanced sound, wide dynamics, and seamless interaction. MURAL is truly a band effort – a single instrument with three musicians. 

The album features ten pieces including eight original compositions and two standards. The original pieces are composed by members of MURAL. Also featured are arrangements of standards Pure Imagination, the theme song from the movie "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory" (1971) and the Wayne Shorter composition Yes or No.

The members of MURAL found time to explore the trio medium even before its inception. "We have known each other for many years through different bands," says bassist Peter Schwebs. "But last year we finally decided to turn our regular trio sessions into a proper band and record an album." 

MURAL (2016)


The album's opening track Vast Mural consists of two very contrasting parts. The continuous, through-composed guitar theme, with a nod to Bach, compared with the freeing effect of the open improvisation section. The piece diligently maneuvers its long development until arriving at its peak at the solos. "I find the dichotomy to be satisfying," says guitarist and composer Aki Ishiguro. The density of the harmonic wall created by the guitar paves the way for the bass to play a beautiful melody.  

The piece Neruda showcases Schwebs' skill on arco to play the melody. The rich sound and phrasing of the bow beautifully shapes the beginning of the piece.  Ishiguro's composition was inspired by Pablo Neruda, the Chilean Poet-Diplomat. 

Gypsy Contraband "is a simple blues based on a fun little twelve-tone row" describes Ishiguro. The traditional blues form coupled with an idiosyncratic melody provides an exciting dichotomy. 

Chile Idle is a unique ballad in that it asks the drummer to explore his musical pallet over a ballad. The theme repeated throughout the song while the drums takes on a role as an improviser throughout. Drummer Rodrigo Recabarren explains that "the melodic instruments stays static while the drums have the freedom to color and shape it at will. I find the role reversal to be an interesting challenge."

Recabarren further explains "the ideas and tunes that we bring into our practice sessions follow no particular guideline except to find exciting ways to affect and engage our sound in a trio setting."  Indeed, while Vast Mural provides a modern jazz sound, there are plenty of swing in Pure Imagination and Yes or No.  Recabarren contributes another style through his composition Caterpillar; "This piece is a more groove oriented tune where I deliberately wanted to be a little more experimental with the drum sound."


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