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Saturday, 17 February 2024 19:51

The GAB Trio - The GAB Album

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Wild Card guitarist Clement Regert teams up with fellow guitarist Gianluca Corona and percussionist Steve Taylor for a visit to Brazil.

The GAB Trio have been on the London circuit for a couple of years now, and launch their  debut album, The GAB Album, on 22 February, with an official launch at Fulham’s 606 Club. The Trio is comprised of Clement Regert and Gianluca Corona on guitar and Steve Taylor on cajon and percussion. 

Regert, of course, is the leader of the jazz/funk/latin band, Wild Card, while Corona has worked with Al Di Meola. The emphasis is less jazz/funk here, more Brazilian, with some flamenco influence thrown in for good measure. 

As with Wild Card, there’s a nice mix of melodic original tunes, primarily composed by Regert, and some well-chosen pop and rock covers, usually with an unusual twist to them.

The GAB Theme opens the album and serves as a good introduction as to what you can expect, with some lovely interplay between the two guitarists, and subtle support from percussionist Steve Taylor. 

Anyone who has seen Wild Card live will know that Regert likes to play with well-known rock songs, and occasionally turn them on their head. Smells Like Teen Spirit opens like an acoustic read of the original before the two guitarists take the tune into uncharted territories, making you forget you are listening to a cover at all, before bringing things back full circle.

12 Labours has more of a jazz feel to it, with guest guitarist Rosie Frater Taylor also adding some scat singing. Exit Music (For A Film) has been performed as a jazz tune before, most notably by Brad Mehldau, but it is given a more straight ahead read here, with Bea Asurmendi’s fragile, delicate vocal a delightful addition.

Regert’s compositional skills have always impressed, and Heartbeat and the album’s closing track, Manic Phase, are particularly lovely. L’Aube, another new tune, was jointly composed by the two guitarists, with added lyrics by Bea Asurmendi, and also worked well.

Of the remaining covers, I enjoyed Sweet Child Of Mine more than Here Comes The Rain. The former feels like it shouldn’t work in a Brazilian setting, but Regert and Corona prove me wrong, while the latter played straight, and doesn’t really add much to the original, in my view. Here Comes The Rain, incidentally, features Josie Frater as a guest vocalist.

The GAB Album will obviously appeal to fans of Wild Card, who are used to Regert’s superb guitar work, but the Brazilian vibes here will probably give the album a fairly broad appeal. The joy of hearing the two guitarists playing off one another mean that the album will also appeal to anyone who enjoyed John McLaughlin’s excellent albums with Al Mi Meola and Paco Di Lucia. It was also smart for the Trio to use guest vocalists on the album, as this helped to break things up a little, and stopped the album from becoming to guitar-oriented. 

I look forward to seeing the band in a live setting, but in the meantime, there’s plenty to enjoy here.

 

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