Home » Jazz Articles » Kristjan Randalu: Absence

3

Album Review

Kristjan Randalu: Absence

By

Sign in to view read count
Kristjan Randalu: Absence
With a gathering, rubato flurry, Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu, a Chick Corea-inspired student of the late, virtuosic and highly lyrical British pianist John Taylor and his mischievous compatriot Django Bates, begins "Forecast" in whirling descent, before the quiet storm of guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Marku Ounaskari take the weather out to sea, where Randalu threatens to revive the current again and again but instead gives way to clearing skies.

Absence, Randalu's ECM debut, ricochets its motifs and dark, rhythmic overtones with a singular sense of structure and improvisation. The elusive first adaptation of "Lumi I" slowly focuses itself as Monder and Ounaskari establish the territory in which Randalu can ruminate. "Susi I" is a hushed chamber piece, essentially a piano solo that Monder colors like string quartet. While on the topic of colors, Ouanaskari exercises a sparse, Jack DeJohnette-like vocabulary throughout most of the nine tracks. "Escapism," "Adaption I" and "Adaption II" are the kind of rangy, illustrative trio improvisations that have been ECM's forte since the start of the label. "Partly Clouded" at first seems to loom as Monder weaves his cohorts together until the leader, like his teacher Bates, takes the piece elsewhere, past the clouds and into the quiet delicacy of the title track.

Track Listing

Forecast; Lumi I; Sisu; Lumi II; Escapism; Adaption I; Adaption II; Partly Clouded; Absence.

Personnel

Kristjan Randalu: piano; Ben Monder: guitar; Markku Ounaskari: drums.

Album information

Title: Absence | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: ECM Records

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

The Source
Kenny Barron
Espérame en el Cielo
Gilbert Castellanos
Permeance
Wade Matthews / Abdul Moimême

Popular

Exude
Francesca Han & Ralph Alessi
Baker's Dozen
The Muffins
Blues & Bach: The Music Of John Lewis
Enrico Pieranunzi Trio & Orchestra
The Border
Douwe Eisenga

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.