Piet Verbist

Secret Exit to Another Dimension

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther, Jazz'Halo (Belgium)

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Piet Verbist dedicated some tracks from the current album to various people from his family environment: "A Noble Trice", an anagram for Celebration, the parents Joske & Leo, "Minikin Milan", the final track of the album, the son Milan Verbist, "Bridge House" Rob and Magda - whoever that is - and "Ji Ha" guitar virtuoso Jim Hall. The album cover is taken from a street art action credited to Antoine Caramalli and was part of an action called This Is Not A Tag (2016). In addition to the double bass player Piet Verbist we hear the guitarist Hendrik Braeckman and the drummer Lionel Beuvens on the current album .

As in a double helix, bassist and guitarist unite with their musical activities in the opening track "The Other Side". The guitarist is the "leader" and plays the finest chiselled strings. In the background we can hear Lionel Beuvens wiping his fur. If you were to translate the piece into a watercolor, you would assign umber, sienna and sand colors to the bassist and all sorts of green facets up to emerald to the guitarist. The bass solo in this piece is very worth listening to. Then the sandy color dominates, i.e. the light shading of the strings.

"Map Map" opens with loosely woven lines, thanks to Hendrik Braeckman. His string playing is reminiscent of Jim Hall and Attila Zoller. Bass player Piet Verbist follows in the melodic footsteps of the guitarist. This creates a very attractive antiphonal song. Lionel Beuvens discreetly accompanies the two string acrobats on his percussion. Here and there we almost hear a crystalline murmuring sound combined with a staccato tick-tick, thanks to the percussionist. The passages that Henrdrik Braeckman presents are reminiscent of the wedge flight of geese on the northward migration, using the thermals and crossing cloud fields. The guitarist lets a fine, silky curtain of sound blow in front of our eyes. In the bassist's solo there is little that is deep-toned, but rather an attempt

In view of the first bars of "Bridge House" the term ballad comes to mind. The guitar runs, which are accompanied by the bassist as a second voice, are finely broken. To use an image for the musical lines, one would have to speak of a shallow, slowly flowing meadow river that makes its way through pastures where Haflinger horses graze. Smaller rapids can also be seen, but no wild roar of white water. The music evokes associations with the early landscapes of the Impressionists, evokes the paintings of the artists of Barbizon and Fontainebleau. If one wanted to translate the views of the quarries that Courbet painted into music, Piet Verbist's bass hatching below would be ideal for this. There is a lot of rusty brown in them,

"Secret Exit" is characterized by fast passages. It seems that either electronics, a Rhodes or synth or even a modulated guitar are brought into play on this track. In terms of character, this piece is definitely out of character when compared to the others. Psychedelic music is probably also a term that could be used for the piece. The acoustic in its purest form is left to the bassist, who follows his solo after the psychedelic passages that make one think of Alan Parsons Project or Pink Floyd. The drum solo integrated into the piece towards the end of the piece is only brief.

After the upbeat piece "Pannonica" with guitar sequences that are a treat to listen to, the ode to Jim Hall called "Ji Ha" follows: This piece is for those who appreciate the original jazz guitar, i.e. those who love the appreciate the world of Joe Pass, Jim Hall and Barney Kessel and how they played. There is no electronic frills. The guitar is not modulated or prepared, but shines with a soft sound. Hendrik Braekman's game flashes swing without falling into a Django tone. At the same time, early rock'n'roll shines through at times, doesn't it? And Lionel Beuvens can also demonstrate his skills on the skins and brass with wandering sticks and pegs. Finally, the last piece is dedicated to Piet Verbist's son, the meanwhile successful as a musician Milan Verbist. It was written for Milan in his childhood days. "Minikin Milan" features the soft focus on the guitarist and appears as a lullaby. Hendrik Braeckman occasionally follows the path of JJ Cale reloaded, doesn't he?








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