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The worst part about listening to pianist Achim Kaufmann’s recordings is that you only get 60 minutes or so, of some of the most inventive modern jazz on the globe. His previous CD for “Leo Records,” was a bona fide knockout! With this release, he navigates similar concepts.
His base group featuring the impressive talents of woodwind ace Michael Moore and drummer John Hollenback is augmented by bassist/cellist Henning Sieverts who provides the fluid bottom end. But the gist of this group’s magic resides within its noticeable ability to meld elements of the free zone with tenderly executed dreamscape type passages. In addition, Hollenbeck supplements his timekeeping duties with an assortment of small percussion instruments. Whereas Moore’s velvety toned, sax and clarinet work serves as a near perfect match for the pianist’s extremely versatile mode of execution.
The musicians seem equally comfortable in a variety of settings. Whether they’re engaging in airy jazz-waltzes or mixing it up via impassioned dialogue and a few cleverly rendered twists and turns. However, a noticeable gleam implants itself throughout this most alluring affair, as the band seldom allows the proceedings to get out of hand. They intermix cheery grooves and an inconspicuous sense of swing with shrewd harmonic inventions and budding undercurrents. Conversely, the quartet packs a potent punch on “Turnstiles,” partly due to the soloists hypnotic, ostinato style choruses. A superb outing indeed!
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.