Recommended: Hans Ludemann Trio Ivoire – “Desert Pulse”


Desert Pulse is a nifty reminder of how addictive and singular the sound a Hans Lüdemann Trio Ivoire project can become.  Recorded live at the 2014 Eight Bridges festival in Cologne, Germany, the trio is joined by the trumpet and kora of Reiner Winterschladen and Ballaké Sissoko.  It’s a welcome addition.

There’s an intoxicating slow build of intensity on this session.  It first makes its presence known on “Maloya,” when the harmonic benefits of additional personnel lead to a much bigger sound.  That larger presence does nothing to detract from its beauty.  It equates to watching a flower reach full bloom in time lapse.  By way of comparison, “Le Destin” goes about things in much the same way as “Maloya,” but shows how keeping to a simmer instead of boiling over doesn’t lessen the emotional punch.

The quintet performs a handful of tracks from the trio’s excellent 2014 release Timbuktu.  An upshot of the guest musicians is an expanded view of works like “Heartbeats,” “Timbuktu” and “Love Confession.”  As before, the melodies are irrepressibly sunny and undeniably catchy, but with trumpet and kora added to the mix, they burst forward with a momentum that’s more than a bit thrilling.  That same enthusiasm is brought to the compositions original to this session, and manifest from anything in the range from the whirlwind spin of “Hombori” to the foot-tapping groove of “Djonkoloni Kolonia.”

A very fun and very friendly recording.

Your album personnel: Hans Lüdemann (piano), Aly Keita (balaphone), Christian Thomé (drums, percussion) and guests: Reiner Winterschladen (trumpet), Ballaké Sissoko (kora).

Released on Intuition Music.

Available at:  Amazon

And be sure to check out their excellent 2014 release Timbuktu (read about it).  It earned the #   slot on this site’s Best of 2014 list, and it still squeezes into my listening rotation no matter how busy I get.