Juergen Friedrich: Pollock (2009)
Friedrich teams with two Americansbassist John Hebert and drummer Tony Morenoon this reflective and interactive piano trio outing. The disc's opener, the Friedrich-penned "Drift," drips to life of a series of delicate piano notes of seemingly random placement before it swells into an energetic rhythm of three-way interplay. Thelonious Monk's classic "Round Midnight" is up next. The trio engages in a spare reading of the familiar tune, not unlike the Bobo Stenson Trio's take of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" on Goodbye (ECM Records, 2005), with no notes wasted in its beautiful exploration of the melody.
Hebert wrote two of the set's 11 tunes, with another penned by the leader in collaboration with Moreno. Five are Friedrich's compositions, and two more are trio improvisations, including the title tune. Throughout there is a sense of subtle complexity, immediacy and discovery, with an often searching quality, to go with a sparseness and refined use of space. Friedrich's "Over" has a feeling of poignancy, while Hebert's "Billy No Mates" goes darkly inward in the beginning, before Freidrich applies some bright colors.
Leaning toward the pensive and cerebral, Pollack is a gorgeously spare and spontaneous work.
Track Listing: Drift; Round Midnight; Ripple; Wayward; I Am Missing Her; Samarkand; Enclosed; Billy No Mates; Pollock; Over; Flauschangriff.
Personnel: Jurgen Friedrich: piano; John Hebert: bass; Tony Moreno: drums.
Record Label: Pirouet Records
Style: Modern Jazz