Christian Fabian Trio emerges with a chilled-out blend of jazz and funk on the luxurious “Hip to the Skip.” With a crystal-clear sound that would make Steely Dan proud, the fidelity here feels immaculate. The rock elements of the atmosphere add to the inherent playfulness of the pieces, for they effortlessly blend into this singular stream of consciousness. Despite not needing to say a single word, a whole narrative emerges from the instrumentation. Yes, the spirit has a lyricism, with the focus shifting from player to player, allowing each a particular time to shine.
The title track and opener, “Hip to the Skip,” comes out swinging, with hyperenergetic drumming alongside an infectious bassline. “Moanin’” mellows things at a slower speed, virtually cruising along. “Mercy Mercy” has a Balearic approach, letting gorgeous sunshine into the scene. Keyboards glisten on the chilled glide of “This Can’t Be Love,” where the song has a soulful approach and the right degree of looseness. On “Incognito,” the rhythm section takes center stage, with the rest of the band revolving around them. An excellent perspective on an old standard is the lush “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Going right for the angular is the stylish “Zig 7.” Aptly named “(Funky) Four,” it has a noir-like state, capturing a summer-like heat with the right amount of humidity. Gleeful to its core is the righteous sound of “In The Name of Feminism.” Interplay amongst the group makes “Side Kick” a communal experience, as the trade-offs with each member result in this kaleidoscopic aura. Neon hues filter through “Effendi,” closing the album on a high note.
“Hip to the Skip” has a gracefulness, with the Christian Fabian Trio proving to have exceptional interplay and an ability to play off each other.