Album Review of
Wood, Wind & Skin

Written by Robert Silverstein
March 2, 2020 - 12:00am EST
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Back in early 2001, almost 20 years ago, I was fortunate to hear and review Panorhythmica, the new album at that time by the band called Chasm. Now, as then, the Southern California based Chasm centers around the combined talents of Mark Esakoff (acoustic and electric guitars, luitars, ukulele, marimba, vocals and bass) and his co-founding partner Michael Whipple (flutes, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, backing vocals). Lo and behold in early 2020, Chasm returns to the music world with a superb new album called Wood, Wind & Skin. Titled after the sounds of the instruments featured on the first Chasm album back in 1995, the 13-track Wood, Wind & Skin features a wonderful array of sounds that covers just about every genre of instrumental music under the sun—including New Age, World Music, soundtrack, rock, progressive, jazz fusion, bossa-nova and flamenco too. Incredibly diverse in scope and dimension, Wood, Wind & Skin closes the album out with a memorable vocal track called “The Silence Between The Words”—a symphonic-like pop number that underscores Mark’s intrigue with the Kinks and Bowie-esque rock. Additional string and horn arrangements, not to mention expert engineering, by Michael Whipple gives Wood, Wind & Skin a striking depth that sounds as if there’s a full band playing. Mark’s guitars and Michael’s flute, keys and drums shines throughout the album and there’s hardly an off note, start to finish. Based on that 2001 album alone, one could have easily predicted more greatness from Chasm, yet, in a case of better late than never, Wood, Wind & Skin is a real masterpiece of sonic delights.