Both players are masters at rhythm. They weave in and out of each other, coming close, but never stepping on toes.
MB Note Records
Matthias Bublath (piano; Michi Ruzitschka (7 string guitar)
I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a CD featuring a Brazilian 7 string guitar. I didn’t know about the 7 strings until I read it in the liner notes. I do know Michi Ruzitschka is a master at playing the instrument.
Ruzitschka studied music in his home country Austria, the Berklee College Of Music, and he spent many years playing in Brazil.
Being in a duo is a balancing act. Pianist Matthias Bublath and Ruzitschka easily match one another in musicianship. Bublath studied at Berkeley and the Manhattan School Of Music.
He was a freelance musician in New York City for many years. He’s played many styles of music but the music on DUO NORTE SUL is strictly Brazilian.
I looked askance when I saw the all time most recorded song in Spanish, ‘Besame Mucho ’was included. Listening to it I thought, “okay, we do need this version.” It’s got the same elegant but rigid opening we all know. Bublath’s piano loosens and takes the edges off this bolero turning it swingingly romantic.
The added counterpoint from Michi Ruzitschka’s 7 string guitar make this one of the standout tunes on the album.
There’s no bass or drum here and they’re not missed. The extra string on the guitar extends the bass range and the piano spends plenty of time on the lower end of the keyboard. Both players are masters at rhythm. They weave in and out of each other, coming close, but never stepping on toes.
’324 Centre Street ’has piano dropping descending lines with guitar notes running up the scale. It’s a beautiful sort of tension.
Bublath and Ruzitschka pass the theme back and forth on the samba ’No Rancho Fundo.’ Michi’s guitar notes twist and bend. Matthias’s piano sounds western until he eases it back into a more melodic bossa nova groove. This is Latin American music but every now and then I’ll hear touches of Red Garland or Wynton Kelly in Bublath’s playing.
DUO NORTE SUL is a collection of self-penned songs, a couple of Brazilian classics, and it’s a collaboration between two players who obviously love playing together.