Cool, smooth, easygoing, adventurous. Those are some of the terms that can describe Matthias Bublath’s Harvest on the Moon (2012). Pianist, organist and composer, Bublath has assembled an international cast of musicians to assist in this effort.
The group consists of flutist Anne Drummond of New York; drummer Franco Pinna of Tucuman, Argentina; trumpeter Takuya Kuroda of Osaka, Japan; and bassist Fernando Huergo of Cordoba, Argentina.
The title song is a cool, finger-snapping groove that gives each player a moment in the spotlight. Kuroda’s trumpet is mellow, in the mode of Herb Alpert. Trumpet and flute harmonize on the lead of “African Boogie,” accented by a shuffle beat from the rhythm section. The mood shifts underneath the trumpet solo. Though Bublath is the album artist, he doesn’t make it all about him. He spends as more time in the background on these tracks than he does out front. Instead, Drummond and Kuroda get most of the attention.
Bublath composed eight of the 11 tracks. The music is in a safe zone, between the hard-charging, improvisation-driven jazz and the catchy, melody-driven smooth jazz. It possesses just enough of one to appeal to fans who are focused mainly on that style without alienating the other group. There is even an orchestral element to some tracks, particularly “Bigfoot.”