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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Carlo Costa's Minerva - Saturnismo (Between The Lines, 2011) ****

By Stef

Piano trios led by drummers are rare, yet here is another great one, led by Carlo Costa on drums, JP Schlegelmilch on piano and glockenspiel, and Pascal Niggenkemper on bass.

The trio manages to create a wonderful synthesis of styles, grounded in jazz, but leaning towards modern classical with lots of improvisation. The approach is not unlike Tørn's "Crespect", with slow and precise evolution of the music, pacing the music with incredible control, creating a welcoming and mysterious environment, full of lyricism and subtle nuance.

As you can expect from a drummer in the lead, the music is full of rhythmic surprises and refinement, as on the aptly titled boppish "Let's Go, I Don't Know", but that's as jazzy and familiar as it gets.

At the other end of the spectrum is the long "Nocturnal Patterns", a minimalist piece built around silence and full of tension, and contradictions oscillating between sweet and abrasive, including a shockingly surprising bowed note by Niggenkemper.

To Costa's credit, and also the band's, is the great interplay and the coherent musical vision, with the drummer often pushing himself away from the attention, emphasising and coloring and shading in the way of Paul Motian, but so are the piano and the bass, this is not about fast runs on the keys or uptempo pyrotechnics, but about mature music, woven lightly but solidy out of thin sounds.

Really strong.

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef