On the Road – Asher Laub (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Collisions between the classical and contemporary music world have always gone on and to varying degrees of success. I guess where one is the realm of discipline and exactitude the other is more often the home of feeling and improvisational jamming. Getting the two to work together probably relies on being able to switch mindsets as required and that is something which violinist Asher Laub seems able to do effortlessly.

Songs such as his latest, On The Road, prove that he is able to inhabit both worlds, wrapping contemporary pop-dance grooves around his exquisite playing. And with no lyrical component to the song, his violin becomes the spokesperson within it, spiralling up into soaring crescendoes, dropping into low end rhythms, the meter of the music becoming a narrative to be interpreted by each and every listener on their own terms. Drama is created by the breadth of the musical dynamic, the soothing sound of the intro, the frantic pace of the playing, the clubland beat that drives things on, the classical breakdowns and the rock and roll frenzies, the pace and the pathos. It’s all there.

If you think that the violin is something that should be left in the front row of the orchestra or under its pseudonym of “fiddle” leading a bluegrass barn dance, then listen to Asher Laub’s On The Road and think again!

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