May 20 2014
There is a lullaby beauty to Whim of Fate that is just as riveting as it is comforting. The new release by pianist Hans Feigenwinter’s ZINC trio, however, isn’t sleepy music. It has a potency that comes with a lively kick, but like a well-crafted, aged whiskey, the intoxicating effect that accompanies it is one that brings the curtain down with an infusion of warmth conducive to simply drifting off.
A trio of piano, trombone, and saxophone, ZINC constructs simple but strong melodies, then works through permutations with a slowly developing, kaleidoscopic display. The most rewarding moments are when overlapping melodic statements break apart into divergent paths of piano improvisation and lush harmonies from sax and trombone. Tracks like “Oberwil” and “Joringel, Wartend” and “I’d Love To” reflect that approach to the point where intoxicating becomes positively addictive.
Some tracks, though, break from the mold a bit. “Right-Hand Twist” adopts a sharper tone and a shuffle cadence, whereas “Objet Trouvé” is a little dust storm of melody… bits peek out from within the rhythmic torrents. And then there’s “Usa?” which adopts the album’s common formula, but hits the fast forward button, adding a playfulness that sets right with things. “EMX” also utilizes a quick tempo, but even as improvisations flash by, the occasional returns to melody always keep the song well in sight.
Just a gorgeous album.
Your album personnel: Hans Feigenwinter (piano), Andreas Tschopp (trombone), and Domenic Landolf (tenor & soprano saxes).
Released on Unit Records.
Jazz from the Basel, Switzerland scene.
Available at: Amazon