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Why Robert Mitchell delivers with his new album


By Dirk Binsau of Jazz not Jazz


What I really love about British Jazz musicians is that they usually have a different approach to their music compared to their American counterparts.


The British version of Jazz sounds more open to various influences and is often highly original.


Take Courtney Pine or Juliet Kelly for example. Or Robert Mitchell and his Panacea Project. You might know Robert as a member of the bands Quite Sane, Tomorrow’s Warrior and J-Life (here alongside Julie Dexter) or from his first Panacea album Voyager released in 2001 on Dune Records.

Like its predecessor Trust is an album that demands your attention and time but rewards you with some great and inspiring music that expands the borders of jazz music. Look at the name of the songs and it’s obvious that this isn’t another run of the mill album.

Again Robert Mitchell (piano, rhodes, wurlitzer, composer, arranger etc.) has teamed up with Richard Spaven (drums), Barak Schmoll (saxophones), Volker Sträter (percussion) and Tom Mason (bass, replacing Nico Gomez) to form Panacea.


Eska Mtungwazi who sang on Voyager only appears as guest vocalist on Breath On The Mirror this time. Instead, Robert has found Deborah Jordan, who debuted on Silhouette Brown’s album earlier this year, as musical alter ego to breathe life into his lyrics on most songs.

The dark and introspective If These Walls Could Talk features British veteran jazz singer
Norma Winstone while Eugene Skeef talks about nomadic existence on the epic Shukran, by the way a dedication to Bheki Mseleku.


The downtempo title song, Trust, is maybe the most traditional jazz song this album has to offer.


Songs like The Thief Of Dimensions with its minimoog solo and organic instrumentation will certainly appeal to soul music fans while The Brink with its fusion of broken beats, jazz and weird key solos will also find its fans amongst nu jazz/broken beat lovers.

The album’s closer Ocean (In A Small Hand) is an interesting experiment with Robert creating a slow chill out athmosphere on piano with some wind effects and Gurdeep Stephens adding scatting overdubs of doh doh doooohs and even some gurgling sounds. Sounds odd on paper but this comes along as a fine lullaby.

Like mentioned above, this album may not appeal to everyone but it will take the open minded and persistent listener into beautifully arranged unheard soundscape.


Highly recommendable if you want to discover something completely different.


Tracklisting of Trust: 1. The Brink/ 2. Cotopaxi/ 3. Breath On The Mirror/ 4. If These Walls Could Speak/ 5. The Thief Of Dimensions/ 6. Shukran/ 7. Trust/ 8. A Heart (Full Of You)/ 9. Ocean (In A Small Hand). | released 2005 F-Ire


For more infos visit robertmitchellmusic.com and f-ire.com


Dirk Binsau is an expert on Jazz and contemporary Black music. He broadcasts, blogs and runs Jazz not Jazz.


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