Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Feb. 15, 2008
Robert SkilesThe Noble Grapes (Regalo)
Pianist/composer Robert Skiles is best known to Austinites as the leader of that riotous, Latin party band and venerable musical institution known as Beto & the Fairlanes. He's also an accomplished and respected jazz and classical player who lends his talents to this brief set of meditative piano solos celebrating 16 classic wine grapes. Having labored in a vineyard while a student in Grenoble, France, Skiles developed a deep appreciation for the vintner's art. He conferred with numerous "experts" to determine the personalities of each grape; from Cabernet and Merlot to Shiraz and Zinfandel, Skiles offers his beautiful and sublime impressions that capture the subtlety, richness, and unique character of each variety. Complement to his 2006 collection, Flowers: Wild, The Noble Grapes blends Skiles' jazz chops and classical sensibilities into this dreamy elixir that you don't need to be a wine connoisseur to savor. Salud!