Chris Gestrin


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Vancouver, Canada-based keyboardist Chris Gestrin crosses an amalgamated array of perceived borders on this curiously interesting release. As an acoustic pianist, he often insinuates a theme via delicately constructed melodies and an open-ended approach. Gestrin and his musical associates pursue ambient dreamscapes and climactically driven passages throughout this beautifully recorded production. Moreover, this high-tech recording (Direct Stream Digital) might be analogous to the sonic characteristics often witnessed on the German ECM Records label. Nonetheless, a good portion of this outing features Gestrin's clever use of synths, dulcimer, and various electric/acoustic percussion instruments. Saxophonist Jon Bentley and trumpeter Brad Turner frequently serve as the equalizers due to their ambient and/or fiercely enacted exchanges, while drummer Dylan van der Schyff's cymbal swashes and rumbling tom fills provide the undulating rhythms. Many of Gestrin's frameworks are built upon simple melodies and modulating crosscurrents, as the musicians delve into a few dark corners here and there. The ensemble is equally adept at segueing through a multitude of free jazz/crash-and-burn type endeavors or executing ethereal soundscapes amid multifarious perspectives. Recommended.

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