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Grupa Janke Randalu: Live (2008)

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Grupa Janke Randalu: Live How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Grupka Janke Randalu is the collaboration between pianist Kristjan Randalu and percussionist Bodek Janke (percussion). They have developed a compact rapport over the twenty years they have been playing together, apparent in the way they respond to each other, get into a conversation and take their music to a higher level by developing thoughts and impulses.

Randalu first studied classical music and picked up on jazz in Germany. He developed his jazz language in New York studying with several jazz pianists. Comfortable in both genres, he brings them to vantage point in this live recording.

Janke is an internationalist in his choice of instruments, using them to effect by injecting Indian, African, Eastern European and Latin American traditions, infusing the music with a striking rhythmic current. All of it is nicely garbed as world music, which sits perfectly with the jazz standards, folk music and classical music played by the duo.

"Confidance," a Randalu composition, is a light pirouette. Randalu sets up the vamp and then lets the melody whirl. Janke is a light tempest, his splashes on the cymbals adding luminosity. The two build momentum and let it loose, but the groove stays firm. Change turns on surprise here, and is the kind of opening tune that nails the attention of the audience.

Randalu brings classical adornment and strong jazz harmonies to "All the Things You Are." He lets the song build momentum gradually, at first playing with soft deliberation and then, when Janke lets his percussion ride high and crisp, letting the thrust surge. It's a loquacious flow that is given depth by the complementing chords.

"Igaühel oma pill" is mesmerizing. Randalu sets up the time signature for this traditional tune and Janke moves in, not only with percussive effects, but also with his wordless vocalizing punctuating the beat and, later, singing with a magnetic lure. Randalu works the grain of the lovely melody, changing the tempo, but always letting each note be a moment of grace. It's the perfect closer for music that is delightful and endearing.



Visit Kristjanm Randalu and Bodek Janke on the web.

Track Listing: Confidance; All the Things You Are; Largo (From Dvorak's Symphony No. 9); Hinken; If I Were a Bell; Igahel oma pill.

Personnel: Kristjan Randalu: piano; Bodek Janke: percussion.

Record Label: Jazz'N'Arts Records


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