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by Roger Farbey
The complex title perfectly characterises Pablo Held's compositional approach. Here he utilises light and shade to mix swathes of tranquillity with petulant stabbing phrases accompanied by equally sharp drum retorts. However, and this is crucial, the piece flows together seamlessly. The lissome nature of Dr Freeds" betrays an influence of Bill Evans but the ethereal, searching quality encapsulating I'll Dream Of Flowers" is more reminiscent of compositions by Held's erstwhile mentor, the British jazz piano virtuoso John Taylor. ...read more
by Phillip Woolever
WDR Jazzfest Gutersloh, Germany February 2-4, 2017 The best friend of German jazz and a considerable number of passionate followers is probably a state funded media institution. In a relatively short time span of six years, the WDR Jazzfest has blossomed from infancy to impressive European stature. WDR, a broadcasting conglomerate of radio and TV stations, has continued to expand jazz's public access with the help of government funding and admirable efforts ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
German piano wonder Pablo Held was only 23 years old when he entered the studio to record the music on Glow, but he had already earned his place in the pantheon of modern day piano trio leaders. Held's first two albums--Forest Of Oblivion (Pirouet, 2008) and Music (Pirouet, 2010)--helped put him on the map, but Glow might go down as his real breakthrough record. Held leaves the trio format behind, though he retains the services of drummer Jonas Burgwinkel and ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
Using the word music" as an album title can be viewed as a bold and defining statement . . . or a simple word choice. Whether Held wanted to raise some eyebrows here or he was simply choosing an album title doesn't matter . . . but the music does! Held's original works defy easy description. He doesn't write short, snappy heads and songs that are built on predictable harmonic movement, featuring chorus after chorus of solos. His music is ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
German piano prodigy Pablo Held debuted as a leader with Forest of Oblivion (Pirouet Records, 2009), an album of surprising depth, suffused with a romantic European feeling. Subtle and smooth-flowing, it was full of nuance and smoldering interludes that would, at times, burst into roaring percussive flames. Held was only 21 years of age at the time of this tremendous debut, but his stand-above-the-crowd talent was obvious.Music, the artist's sophomore effort, carries on in the same thoughtful vein. ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Pianist Pablo Held showed early promise by winning three Young Jazz Musician competitions in Germany, the first when he was just 13. He then went into august company playing with the WDR Big Band and trumpeter Manfred Schoof.
On Forest of Oblivion, his first as a leader, Held shows just why he has been such a strong presence. He plays with a subtle urge for nuance, letting his music glow. Just as certainly, he can turn up the beat and ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
In every review of Pablo Held's debut, Forest of Oblivion, the pianist's age will be discussed. Don't blame the writers. Held, hailing from Germany, was born in 1986. His age, at the time the CD was recorded, was 21. It's a remarkably tender age for having crafted an original musical statement; it's even more remarkable for its high quality.On this piano trio outing, the sound is thoughtful and introspective, to go with well-placed percussive forays and injections of ...read more