Feb 12 2013
I just love how an album can be presented in a way that’s understated, not flashy, yet still be emotionally charged. On Hidden Meaning, his fourth release as session leader, pianist Michel Reis gives a performance that might not knock anyone out of their seats, but is likely to make an indelible impression that will keep a listener’s thoughts coming back to this album over and over. It has mine.
Your album personnel: Michel Reis (piano), Stefan Karl Schmid (tenor & soprano saxes, clarinet), Robert Landfermann (bass), and Jonas Burgwinkel (drums).
The album songs fall into two categories.
Opening track “Repercussions” represents the larger, and better, of those two categories. Piano serenity with moody saxophone over the top. Drums a pleasant, susurrant chatter. Bass a low warm hum. A cadence as calm and reflective as gentle waves lapping up against the shore. Tracks like “Elegy” and “Hidden Meaning” features Reis’s piano gliding with the stark grace of an icy sheet in the glow of moonlight.
The other category features surges of tempo, gradually building up in intensity then suddenly receding before the wave can crest and come crashing down. A few tracks, like “Seduction” and “What Comes Later” emit some heat, but even this isn’t the kind of thing to cause permanent burns. And though tracks like “Americana” lead out with tense rhythms, it’s the lovely way clarinet comes fluttering in over the top that tamps down any thoughts of the music dashing away too quickly.
Anyways, just wanted to get in a mention about this recording. It’s unlikely to make any of my Best Of lists, but I’m impressed by the way it keeps drawing me back in to listen to it again and again. Well worth giving a listen to.
Released on the Double Moon Records label.
Jazz from the Luxembourg scene.