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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stockhausen/Comisso/Thomé - Es War Einmal ... Istanti Infiniti (Aktivarum, 2007) ****

For the first time Markus Stockhausen released an album which pleases me. On the two other ones I know, Aparis and Karta, he seemed still to be looking for his own sound and style, hesitating between ECM-like sounds and fusion, but without bringing something memorable. With "Es war einmal ..." he goes for melodic chamber music, accompanied by Angelo Comisso on the piano and Christian Thomé on drums. With these excellent musicians he brings pieces that thrive on his compositional power, rather than on the creation of atmospheric layers. This style fluctuates between meditative, melancholic, lightly dancing and jubilating sounds. The musicians' broad musical background is of course a great asset in bringing this to a good result. Stockhausen's trompet sound is crystal clear, and is especially impressive in the highest tones, sounding at times like it came out of a classical concerto. It is only by exception that he plays muted or electronically transformed sounds, especially on one piece "Kraftfelder" where he moves from a more classical form to more jazzy, fusion and back, as implied by the title, which means "power fields", and that's also the only piece on which the synthesizer is used. So all in all, a mature album with strong compositions by three musicians bringing an esthetic and refreshing view on modern jazz.