Young Berlin based pianist Clara Haberkamp might be a newcomer to me but a bit of research shows that she has already some established history behind her as well as some recordings done. So are her band-mates bassist Dan Peter Sundland and drummer Tilo Weber. Therefore I do not have any key knowledge about her music. Or have neither set ahead any expectations.
This is only for good as from the first notes of the opening of the title piece it all sounded fresh and breezy. The sound she offers is very relaxed and narrative at the same time . Melody appears and goes to hide behind repetitive fingering patterns. It has a lot of intellectual twists like you might thing it is just played at hoc as the thoughts go.
Bass lines are underlining piano chords nicely and it is almost all you can hear. You need to think about it twice to actually bring up the fact that there is a drummer too. He has such a talent to stay behind that it all sounds almost like a duo, or often solo act.
Lines of Glass coming after is actually possessing the same kind of intimacy, that should be expected giving the fact that is with a single exception only her own music. Here for the first time we can hear her singing. She has nice and smooth soprano and uses her voice with a similar way as the piano. It is half sung , half narrative, melodic enough to be a song but with lyrics matured to justify being a poem. Voice never goes bright, even in high registers.
Another song, Inside Out, offers more as a song. It has a rhythm and choruses deliberately weaved among the piano passages. And section framework supports it fully to build the drama and counterpoint piano culminations crowning upcoming choruses. Reflective Pink Leave is gentle and melancholic and it feels exactly like watching Autumn leaves falling. It makes nice intro into Walt Whitman’s lyrics (mentioned above exception) to which she composed the music. This is really mature arrangement with vocalise close to what Norma Winston is doing. Choir-like multiple voice of her own sampled into the mix in repetitive choruses adds to arrangement’s simplicity and originality.
In similar way coming after Surfaces is nicely framing it out with its nostalgic and intellectual reflection spelled into piano lines. Here again I can’t marvel myself enough with an amazing drummer’s skills who is there but I is almost like he is not at all. Those two are communicating on the telepathic level as it goes far above what practice and time only can do. Twenty-six might indicate her age or have another meaning I am not aware of but this is simply wonderful music. Focused on listening to your inner voice kind of like we had heard before from Paul Bley or Bobo Stenson.
And , my God , this drummer again. I would buy this record for this single piece of music only! Not mentioning the bassists wonderful lines here which contributed to the overall joy. That would be an unacceptable cruelty. This Suits Me would be another almost straight forward song with a piano accompaniment. If only piano clusters and wonderful e-bass introduction didn’t brake a structure to bring some theatrical reflection to hit the surface. Following From an Actor’s Perspective with repetitive rows of chords filled up with lovely fingered into the piece onomatopoeic lines is a fantastic exercise to follow. A Glimpse , percussion interlude gives a taste of drummer’s skills and what he can do if someone only leaves him alone for a minute.
Within going to other titles left for you to be discovered for your own there is that much I can say. I absolutely adore this recording, the pianist and the trio as it comes. She steps on the ground firmly and is finding her paths in such a natural intuitive way that makes you feel that an order had been invited only to make you a slave. With a drummer like Weber who can fly high and has no fear. She already doesn’t which is great. Gravity is equally well prevented here ,so I can only say I want more and more from them and the sooner the better.