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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Andreas Schmidt, Samuel Rohrer, Thomas Heberer - Pieces For A Husky Puzzle (Jazzwerkstatt, 2009) *****

Moving seamlessly between compostion and improvisation, this German trio brings subdued and calm music, yet with an incredible depth and lyrical tension. Andreas Schmidt plays piano, Thomas Heberer quartertone trumpet and Samuel Rohrer drums. Playing mostly - but not always - full-toned and within the traditional sound spectrum of jazz or classical music, the music is quite adventurous and avant-garde, beyond any specific genre but borrowing from various traditions. So you can doubt the "husky" in the title: the music isn't hoarse or raw at all. It flows, yet in quite unexpected ways.

The three musicians carefully place notes in the unfolding compositions, that have no real themes, yet all pieces have their own distinct character and emotional quality. They play full of restraint, weaving their own aesthetic beauty, a form of careful minimalism, full of hesitation, averse of strong emotional outbursts, but the sensitivity is there: deep and true. No place here for sentimental shallowness : it borders on melancholy and sadness, but those emotional descriptives are too vulgar for the refinement you hear on this album. The same holds true for the compositions themselves: no patterns can be discerned, nor repetition, yet there is structure, with identiable anchor points in the pieces. There is no real soloing to speak of, but rather a common and simultaneous creation of sound lyricism through three instruments.

And these instruments are played in their full power. "Puzzle Piece N°6" is the only piece on which real extended techniques are used, with raw trumpet whispers and string plucking of the piano, but even on the more "regular" pieces, the quality of the playing is brilliant. Schmidt is lyrical throughout, Heberer's voice on the trumpet is of a staggering beauty at times, and Rohrer's rhythm-less accentuating full of creativity and finesse.

A rare combination of accessible, creative, austere yet emotional beauty. Highly recommended!

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© stef


Anonymous said...

Hey not related but I was wondering... If you haven't done this yet, could you post the name of bands or albums that you really liked?

Cause I don't know anything about Freejazz or even about Jazz. I sometimes watch the videos you post, and enjoy them, but I don't know where to start.

Any hints? Thanks anyway, sorry for my english. C'ya.

Stef said...

Follow the stars ... in the tags on the right, you can click on the 5 stars, and see all the albums that I really liked, or just look at the "Best of Year" rankings.

Easy ...

But again, my own personal and subjective appreciation...