Triosence with Sara Gazarek: Where Time Stands Still (2012)
A commanding recording that delivers an itchy, irresistible attraction for repeated playing is rare, indeed, and Where Time Stands Still falls precisely into that category. Repeated renderings display additional highlights both instrumentally and vocally. It is very appealingif not challenginglistening.
Combining a trio of fine German musicians (Triosence) with an intriguing American (Sarah Gazarek), Where Time Stands Still offers a dozen original selections which display a palette of interesting colors and nuance. Nothing straight-ahead, boppish or free; the offerings are less pure jazz than almost "New Age" dreamy. However, the combination of Gazarek's engaging voice with Bernhard Schuler's elegant keyboard and the fine supporting players works quite well.
With a very pretty, appealing voiceGazarek is maturing and shouts significant potential, expressing restrained confidence. Her strengths lie in beautiful nuance rather than powerand that's a good thing, given the soundscape presented. She shines best on slower, more introspective and lyric-oriented selections, which allow her crafty use of dynamic shading to milk each line to the bone. Triosence's backing throughout is superb and never outshines Gazarek's bright star.
Schuler's piano playing is marvelous and his touch is melodically and harmonically magnificent. Channeling everyone from Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett to Vince Guaraldi, it's readily apparent that he's done his homework. His original compositions and cooperative lyric efforts with Gazarek are excellent. Ingo Senst's beautifully throaty bass is restrained and richly sonorous. There is substantial tonal coloring by the supporting trio under Gazarek, which helps to make the overall effort a clear winner.
The liner notes indicate that this effort "combines European Jazz with an American Accent." Disregarding unnecessary categories, a more accurate description might be: "Triosence with Sara Gazarek is a recipe for very enjoyable musical portraits which pleasantly invite multiple delightful savoring."
Track Listing: I Can't Explain; Summer Song; You're My Spring; Morning Star; Like the Wind; Only One Evening; Only Friends; Maybe There's a Princess Waiting; You'll See You; You Alone; Let It In; Where Time Stands Still.
Personnel: Sara Gazarek: voice; Bernhard Schuler: piano; Ingo Senst: bass; Stephan Emig: drums; Frank Haunschild: guitars; Vitaly Zolotov: guitars; Andrea Chang: violin; Lara Mueller: voice.
Record Label: Charleston Square Recordings