Oct 4 2017
Hans Lüdemann is so damn expressive with a melody, and yet his music has such a relaxed ambiance to it that it hardly seems like he’s even trying. That dichotomy, and the fascinating contrast it puts front and center of every piece, is a big reason his music resonates like mad. The pianist first gained this site’s notice with his excellent 2014 release Timbuktu, which earned the #25 slot on that year’s Best of 2014. That was with his Trio Ivoire and their piano-balaphon-percussion combo with Aly Keita and Christian Thomé. On his newest release Blaue Kreise, it’s a more conventional combo with his ROOMS outfit of bassist Sébastien Boisseau and drummer Dejan Terzic, but the huge expressiveness makes its presence felt with no less force.
This is true on the introspective “Dark Lights” and the rough-and-tumble of title-track “Blaue Kreise” and the glittering light show of “Arabesque” and the wild celebration of “Spring Rites,” and there isn’t a moment that isn’t crackling with life, as if every note might be their last.
The trio take the Ornette Coleman tune “Humpty Dumpty” for a spin, and the extended piece “Crum,” while an original composition, behaves as a brief tour of jazz’s past, with echoes of Dave Brubeck, Horace Silver and Andrew Hill reverberating across its breadth.
If you’re not familiar with Lüdemann, this is as good a place to get started as any. All of it is gonna be wonderful
Your album personnel: Hans Lüdemann (piano, virtual piano), Sébastien Boisseau (double bass) and Dejan Terzic (drums).
Released on BMC Records.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Soundcloud page.
Music from Hamburg, Germany.