Das Hammerklavier Trio: Now I Know Who Shot J.F.K. (2009)
Born in St. Petersburg, Netsvetaev views the jazz tradition through the thick lens of European classicism. His piano is equal parts Monk and Hancock with a healthy dash of Ellington and Prokofiev. Four minutes into "Crazy Eighths," the album's exuberant opener, Netsvetaev follows a group of sharply- accented triads with a series of sweeping, intervallic runs that blanket the steady, swinging rhythm. It's a typical exchange for the trio, blurring the lines between composition and improvisation and balancing freedom with rhythmic cohesion and structure.
Nodding to his classical roots, Netsvetaev offers a loping take on Prokofiev's "Intermezzo" that finds the pianist coyly layering denseat times heavy-handedlines over Steen and Bussenius' playful beat. Steen offers a virtuosic statement of his own over a beat that vacillates between loose time and lock-step quarter-notes. The album's other cover, Billy Strayhorn's "Bloodcount," is a rich rendering that, nonetheless, lacks the depth of feeling and patient delivery that the evocative melody demands.
Now I Know Who Shot J.F.K. ends with the expansive title track, a vast exploration of time and freedom that morphs from a swift flag-waver to an open-ended improvisation that features the group at its most avant-garde. Netsvetaev strums up the piano's strings behind Steen's screeching multiphonics before the group makes way for an extended solo exploration by Bussenius. A percussive jumble is reassembled by the resourceful drummer before the trio launches back into the original, breakneck tempo as Netsvetaev takes the melody out, ending in a cloud of emphatic glissandos.
Track Listing: Crazy Eights; The Necessity of an Escape: Intermezzo; Bloodcount: The Question of Today; Some Strangers in our Galaxy; I Know Who Shot J.F.K.
Personnel: Boris Netsvetaev: piano; Philipp Steen: bass; Kai Bussenius: drums.
Record Label: Altrisuoni
Style: Modern Jazz