Beyond the Rainbow - Susan Weinert Rainbow Trio
  1. Das Windrad (The Windmill)
  2. Provence
  3. Eisblume (Ice Flower)
  4. Mohnblume (Poppy)
  1. Chinatown
  2. A Day Like This
  3. Licht (Light)
  4. Die Kraniche (The Cranes)

Beyond the Rainbow is a new instrumental album by the Susan Weinert Rainbow Trio, and will be released on April 5th 2019.

This is the International performing stars’ 13th album and was recorded live in-studio July 4th 2018 with Susan Weinert on guitar, Martin Weinert bass, and Sebastian Voltz on piano.

The live-studio recording format works well resulting in a tight performance.  Performing and recording together like this allows the three artists to function with interplay required for this creative atmospheric music and also shows what acoustic instruments can do accompanied by good production. 

Each track is a wonderful expression of ambiance around a place or object as described aptly in each track title.

All songs were written by exquisite guitarist, Susan Weinert except the first track Das Windrad (The Windmill), written by fellow musician and husband Martin Weinert.  Sebastian Voltz (piano) wrote the fourth track, Licht (Light). 

The sense of ambiance expressed in the first track of the album Das Windrad sets the tone for good things to come when Martin Weinert’s bass first drones with a low tone that is almost impossible to identify at first.  He maintains center stage throughout the soundscape fusing all three instruments into the environment.

Eisblume (Ice Flower) is the second track and exhibits great interaction and form between the artists where uniqueness of sound is difficult to find amongst the ubiquitous trio format.  

Here, the piano can equally take the higher frequencies while Weinert’s guitar holds the mids providing harmony in a second player position and vice versa.  Both instruments alternately hold the melody for part of the piece as well.  This is a compositional technique most effective in small ensembles such as this and is done very nicely here.

Chinatown is fast-paced with flights of bebop-like solo work that elicits, if not uses, a Chinese Mongolian scale which is basically the major pentatonic scale.  A sense of place evokes a busy market place.

Licht (Light). This piece opens beautifully with Weinert’s arpeggiated acoustic runs becoming more harmonic until gradually melding with the piano, bringing to mind a wonderful sunrise.  This beautiful intro then releases into brighter and fuller harmonic tones from Sebastian Voltz’s piano until all three musicians are taking us on a curiously sun-filled day. 

This is a wonderful ambient piece composed by Sebastian Voltz.

Provence is quite reminiscent of a sun-filled and breezy summer getaway eliciting its namesake in Southern France, or perhaps from some unforgettable summer of our past.

Mohnblume (Poppy). Weinert’s acoustic guitar takes center stage in perhaps the most reflective piece on the album.  The piano artfully brings the “minor” explorations of the guitar back to the relevant major of the melody until both guitar and piano finally blend in unison.  This melding of the guitar and piano on a note-by-note basis occurs throughout most of the album and provides a unique harmonic sound as if one instrument were playing instead of two.

A Day Like This. This piece invokes the impression of “pushing forward”, “getting things done”. 

It opens with the early morning thumping around of the bass and crescendos into a busy bebop flavour featuring a piano solo by Voltz that takes you out there and gets it done.

Die Kraniche (The Cranes). Another incredible ambient piece that has you lazing around a marshy area or body of water soaking up the atmosphere of it all with “literally” cranes (of the bird type) doing their thing.

By the way, I could have sworn the recording of the actual cranes on this song was used on one of the other songs of this album to provide a little “natural” echo effect.  Check it out.

Summary

The album, Beyond the Rainbow is a very listenable assortment of descriptive soundscapes that will take the listener to new but vaguely familiar places: certainly enjoyable and worthy of repeat listens.


About the author: Robert Weeks is a jazz music enthusiast and guitar player from British Columbia, Canada.


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