Sebastian Sternal should be well recognised on these pages as we reviewed his both Echo Jazz wining orchestral projects here as well as a calm and charming duo entitled Canada or quartet recording with his friend Frederick Koster. Here he continues to explore his fascination in jazz piano trio classic approach. And to make it even more exiting both of his partners are top piano trios members. Grenadier is a bass pillar of Brad Meldhau’s group when Burgwinkel is an extremely mighty drum-force of the Pablo Held Trio, among the others.
As should be expected then those three are perfectly merged in together here and they are all feeling easy like a fish in a water. From an opening I am the Ocean intro’s however it becomes clear that it is not going to be another modal piano game. Sternal’s approach gains vastly from his symphonic landscapes and this path attracts his colleagues in crime vastly with their capability to follow whatever comes.
Go is a super modern piece with fascinating piano fingering coming more from the classical music than from choppy or beefy rich jazz school represented by others. Accordingly following bass riffs as well as spacious drumming are up to tempo. Additionally rhythmic landscapes set by drummer are the quality of its own .
Coming after Sand slows almost into the border of de-fragmentation. It’s almost like a piano tune anatomy lesson with the surgeons precision of drum bits lines precise like a scalpel’s cuts with the firm grip of the bass catch. Title piece takes my imagination from the piano trio territory to the landscape I remember from Pat Matheny’s Group with Sternal – Burgwinkel conversation bringing back memories of dialogues between Lyle Mays and Paul Wertigo from his 70’s super-group.
Gravity comes as a more dance piece, but groovy passages that Sternal plays here holds on groups voice strongly. Following Winter gives more opened space for Larry to shine and his bass walk is here both, lyrical and incredibly charming. Jonas is a drummer that every bass-man is dreaming about. Sound-scapes he creates around the bass lines as well the ground prepared under the piano lines are striking like thunder. This is probably he most elegiac piece, reminding me with its intensity cooperation between Tord Gustavsen and Mat Eilertsen.
Allias falls into similar territory but bass had been given much more narrative capacity here, which had been very well used indeed. All of You , the only standard on this CD tributes its author obviously but as it comes from musicians like those here we are not getting usual approach based on the choral quotes. Pretty much opposite. Sternal with friends are acting here like psychologists researching the subject, dragging pieces of memories from your head, touching moments and referring to this secret associations which All of Us are holding inside of our most private inner space. It comes in a similar way as the Masabumi Kikuchi’s trio used to build up momentum. Quote with anti-quote, hold the line with minimalist touch but an incredible emotional tension.
I could continue finding connections and revealing paths for you another page but it would be sadistic to take all this pleasure out of you. Instead I am leaving it here as it is. Needless to say that what we are finding on this recording is a real treasure chest. Full of absolute erudition and understanding of what happened in the jazz and classical piano world during the last hundred years. Cherry picking from this Master Cake is a real debauchery for everyone who loves to rob Sweet- shops.
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