The exotic tone of the cimbalom is the foundation for multi-instrumentalist Marius Preda‘s new offering, Mission Cimbalom. The percussive instrument furnishes the tapping strikes in the underbelly of the tracks as the vibraphone, pan pipes, and accordion rise to the forefront, creating dimension along the melodic progressions. The steady beats maintain a ticking clock meter, which gives the tracks a constant fixture amidst the improvised threading.
The freestyle movements of Preda’s vibraphone, violin, accordion, piano, and pan pipes are accentuated by the brisk beats of the drums and bass pulls. The squiggling lines of the accordion muse freely along “Tango for the Giants,” producing a whipping sensation as the rapid beats of the drums and bass fodder the frenzy. “Waltz for Debby” descends into a sparsely layered arrangement with swags of sheer silhouettes formed by the strings as the cimbalom exhibits an exotic Asian-tinged sonorous reflective of angels prancing across the clouds. Preda’s music is quick to inspire such images in the listener’s mind.
The Latin dance beats driving “Artuto” are adorned in the shimmery wavelets of Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet, creating an ambience of merriment as Preda’s cimbalom sprinkles the track in glittering droplets. The Latin rhythm at the base of “Surena” is accented by the twinkling notes of the vibraphone and the gentle swells of the accordion, ebbing and expanding in even intervals. The calming mood of the track puts the listener at ease. Equally comfortable on the listener’s senses are the spontaneous exchanges between Preda’s cimbalom and Mike Stern’s guitar in “198 Strings vs. Stern & Preda,” showing a nimbleness and quick-thinking that keeps their audience mesmerized.
The compositions explore the technique of creative expression at its best, keeping in mind the relationship between the instruments should adhere to the principles of harmony to hold their audience’s attention. Sounding like music to one’s ears is a standard that is maintained throughout Preda’s recording.
Marius Preda – cimbalom, vibraphone, violin, accordion, piano, pan pipes, and vocals, Arturo Sandoval – trumpet, Mike Stern – guitar, Dennis Chambers – drums, Tom Kennedy – bass, Teymur Phell – bass, Sanah Kadoura – drums, Taco Gorter – drums, Robin Koertis – bass
“Mission Cimbalom,” “Adriana,” “Place St. Henri,” “Nature Boy,” “Le Grand Blond avec une Chaussure Noire,” “Tango for the Giants,” “Waltz for Debby,” “St. Artuto,” “Buongiorno Petrucciani,” “Surena,” “Oscar’s World, B.A.T.C.,” “198 Strings vs. Stern & Preda”