Power piano trios willing to plug-in are not the norm in jazz, but Hamburg's Hammer Klavier Trio, thankfully, never received that message. The music that they present completely erases the dividing lines between traditional piano trios, hard hitting threesomes like The Bad Plus
. This band has all of that in their aural make-up, but they don't fit neatly into any of those categories.
Rocket In The Pocket contains music that can be rich, raw or refined, depending on the moment. The Hammer Klavier Trio charts its own course through the highways and byways of music, both composed and improvised, as it touches on rock, electro-soundscapes, classical environs, jam band badlands, funk and jazz. The trio does it its way all the while, but isn't averse to citing some of its influences. "Hysterioso," a chromatic blues stair climb with a backbeat, is a clear nod in name and sound to pianist Thelonious Monk
" is a soulful salute to the hard-grooving pianist of the same name and it proves to be one of the most melodically pleasing pieces on the album.
The Hammer Klavier Trio has a clear knack for making clever salutes to jazz masters, but that's not its only strength. The trio can work in open, odd-metered expanses ("A Sketch In Dark Colours"), sew splendid piano riffs into the middle of jamming vehicles ("Rocket In The Pocket") and blur styles and eras with relative ease. "Play Me A Fugue" comes off like a meeting between Johann Sebastian Bach, Jaki Byard
is the real mover and shaker of the bunch. Netsvetaev wrote all twelve tunes included on this disc and his all-inclusive take on music guides and defines the Hammer Klavier Trio's sound.
Piano trios are a dime-a-dozen in jazz, but electro-acoustic outfits that cover this much ground are a relative rarity; that's what makes the Hammer Klavier Trio such a find.
Track Listing: Hysterioso; A Sketch In Dark Colours; Suicide Train; Tekla; Plan B; Play Me A Fugue; Rocket In The Pocket; The Incredible Atmosphere Of Andrew Hill's Music; Take Fifteen; Desert Sun; Kaleidoscope; Harold Mabern.
Personnel: Boris Netsvetaev: piano, keyboards; Philipp Steen: acoustic bass, electric bass; Kai Bussenius: drums, percussion.