The new release from this amazing trio was recorded live in Koln, Germany in 1994. Improvisational for the most part, structural motifs guide the listener through an dazzling array of mind bending virtuosity. While the improvisation is astounding, one gets the feeling that these pieces were composed and rehearsed; the uncanny ability of these three to anticipate complex chord changes and tempo shifts are unique attributes.
The first two cuts "La Bonne Vitesse (approximation 1&2)" commence with the whirling dervish piano voicings of Graewe. Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger provides the bass, rhythm and arco cello solos. Hemmingway is a "musicians" drummer. Known for being a fine and inventive percussionist, Hemmingway has over the years also led a brilliant ensemble which included Reijseger and Micheal Moore (thus, two thirds of another great band called Clusone). Hemmingway's subtle percussives and Reijseger's walking and talking cello run complement to Graewe's introspective and probing ideas.
Things heat up again. On ensuing cuts like "Future Reference" and "Saturn Cycle," tempos change on a dime, the band swings hard and everyone is having a blast. The pace is remarkable. Twists and turns, sudden stops adds up to obvious group awareness. The ability of this trio's internal cognizance is awe inspiring.
Fear not, this not a blatant chops fest. The compositions are collective works. Thoughtful, penetrating and unpretentious, this music takes you on a journey. A journey of ideas, interplay and fascination.
Graewe is a singular talent with a sparkling voice that deserves to be heard. Saturn Cycle contains the various elements of free-jazz, chamber music, and hard swing, and is an appropriate title for this recording, as the musicians all put themselves to the limit.