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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jason Lindner - Ab Aeterno - (Fresh Sound World Jazz) ***

Jason Lindner's first album, Ab Aeterno, offers a sparkling combination of jazz and world music, in a trio with Omer Avital on bass and oud, and Luisito Quintero on a large variety of small percussion. Lindner himself plays piano, and on some songs also melodica and mbira. The music is light as a feather, not unlike chamber music, with playful influences from the Middle-East, Africa and Latin America. But also Monk and Bud Powell join in. Monk and even Bach are identifiable together in the lightly classical "Song for Amos", Bud Powell in "Sure Thing/Glass Enclosure", a mix of two Powell compositions. On the rhythmically repetitive "Montserrate" the piano is replaced by the melodica, and the bass by the oud. Lindner is a fine pianist and composer, the melodies are harmonically and rhythmically well-crafted, yet it's all a little too composed for me, with not enough climaxes. And that might by due to Lindner's approach of the compositions : once he's got the core melody in his left hand, there aren't too many changes throughout the songs, creating an overall flat impression. On the other hand, the lightly dancing combination of piano, bass/oud, and hand percussion is so refreshing and the compositions so easily accessible, that they form the ideal music for this sunny Sunday morning.