Martin Tillman – Eastern Twin
by Paula Edelstein
Master cellist, Martin Tillman communicates from his heart, mind and soul on his debut for Unitone Recordings EASTERN TWIN. If you can imagine a liaison of the classical splendor of Pablo Casals and Yo-Yo Ma, and the avant-garde freedom of Erik Friedlander in the hands of this cello virtuoso, then you are assured of aural ecstasy when you listen to these nine compositions composed by Martin Tillman. As many of you may know, Tillman’s great cello voice has been heard on such film and television projects like Mission Impossible II, Armageddon, The Replacement Killers, Face Off, Kiss The Girls, The Fan, Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope and The Sopranos. Martin Tillman is joined by such contemporary legends as Luis Conte on percussion, and excellent musicians Abhiman Kaushal on tablas, Tom Vedvik providing keyboards, programming, sampling, Jerry Watts on bass, Lisbeth Scott on vocals, Thomas Schobel on cymbals and snare, and Gregg Arreguin on guitars.
The listener enters his musical landscape via his acoustic cello on “Odessa,” a piece so beautiful that you can barely leave it to listen to the next track! Tillman continues to connect with an up-tempo, vocal treatment of “Nothing On My Mind,” an electronica dance number that will work any night of the week. “Amadeus On the Nile,” is an exotic arrangement of Middle Eastern rhythms with Luis Conte on congas and percussion, displaying his unmatched depth of percussive layers to the lowered registers of Tillman’s cello. Their songful mastery of the reddish-brown tone colors emanating from this composition is a unique sonic canvas that you just have to hear for yourself. But it is the title track, “Eastern Twin,” that just takes you there. Tillman’s ability to float his acoustic and electric cello voices within an exotic array of chants, Abhiman Kaushal’s tablas, Thomas Schobel cymbals, Tom Vedvik keyboards, programming and sampling is the nearest an audience can get to a visual spectrum of superlative techniques. Tillman has clearly mastered the art of the cello and testifies to the instrument’s power of musical communication. Through his mastery, the listener is free to travel through a beautifully laid arc of exotic World melodies, chants, Ambient grooves, classical and pop syntheses that give an identity to Tillman’s liberation of timbres. Keep in touch with Martin Tillman at http://www.unitonerecordings.com.