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Bebop Spoken There

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

CD Review: Nikolaj Hess Trio - TRIO.

Nikolaj Hess (pno); Tony Scherr (bs); Kenny Wollesen (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Denmark's Nikolaj Hess has combined with Scherr and Woolesen to produce an album that emphasizes the lyrical and poetic, mood-filled and simple, raw, unpolished and yet virtuosity and refined..
So reads an extract from the blurb.
I found it contained a delightful, reflective, almost pastoral use of light and shade. This was just so romantic! Not Wham Bang Thank You Mam rather the progression of a genteel courtship. An expression of love with only an undertone of lust as Hess displays a classical feel without loss of the jazz mood. If Chopin had been born in New York and received tuition from say Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett he may have sounded like this - even on the Bob Dylan pieces such as Make You Feel My Love (the courtship begins) or Masters of War (the passions intensify).
Apart from Cottontail, the rest are Hess originals. Impro (the lover is dreaming), September 2010 - the most melodic track on an album that is not short of that quality. Is this a significant date? (first meeting? first kiss? first...?) Kontra could be an East European viola like instrument but here I read it as the passions igniting - then cooling - and then unsure where the affair is going.
Duke's Cottontail, somehow or other, brings the late, great, sadly long forgotten, George Wallington to mind. I like to think the lovers are out clubbing and shaking their bits at each other!
Bridge. The lovers - hand in hand - look into the waters of a stream, each throwing something, say a handkerchief, into the water and sighing delightedly as the two items meet up and float off downstream together.
Social Club. They are now one - totally committed. The bedroom beckons but he, being a man, says "We'll just have a beer in the club first..."
This is one of those rare discs where you do feel it tells a story. The story is my own and probably nowhere near what Hess was trying to convey but this was how it grabbed me and I loved it.
Apologies to Scherr and Wollesen who, as well as being important members of New York's now legendary Downtown Scene, are amongst the most sort after session men in NYC and blend perfectly with Hess' impressionistic piano.
Nice one! 
Lance.

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