Pith and Twig
No, the piano jazz trio format is far from being at an end, and here is one more example of that, one of the best to boot. German players Achim Kaufmann, Robert Landfermann and Christian Lillinger show us that the traditional combination of a grand piano, a double bass and a drumset can adopt experimental configurations and explore new situations. When the pianist isn’t the leader of the band – in Grünen, no one is – it could even be problematic to call it a piano trio. The usual hierarchy of the instruments dissolves, and the functions of the three musicians change radically. There’s no soloist and there’s no rhythm section which means everybody solos and everybody supports the others. And when you have three virtuosos with an eccentric, or even punkish, anti-virtuosic approach to the music, anything can happen: lots of tension and lyricism, powerful playing and deconstructions en miniature, crazy flights and rigorous organization of sounds. Prepare yourself (again: “Pith and Twig” is Grünen’s second opus) to be surprised.