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Could it be that the enormous shoes left empty by the recent death of pianist Gene Harris are going to be at least partially filled? After listening to Martin Sasse's "Groove Machine", Here We Come, one would have to think so. Sasse's first date as a leader, Here We Come, provides a bright showcase where he and his bandmates can display their breezily confident brand of trio swing. But wait, don't take my word for it based on the opening track, skip right on over to "Dear McCoy" and glide on the groove that Sasse, Gailing and Smock establish and then redefine. Full of Red Garland block chords and McCoy Tyner sonorities (it is titled for Tyner, after all), "Dear McCoy" rocks with all of the rolling exuberance of Mr. Harris without is predictability.
Oh, so now you think that Sasse is all Blues and Shuffle and nothing slow. Well then, just buzz over to Tom Harrell's "Sail Away" and witness where the trio takes this new jazz standard and what prism they see the ballad through. And when you're done there, head for "Ballade für Juliane" and float away on that cloud. No, Mr. Sasse is a full service pianist with good compositional ideas and solo motives. Very superb playing. Ditto for his support.
Track Listing: Groove Machine; The Modal Thing; Waltz For Katharina; Dear McCoy; Sail Away; On A Clear Day; Ballade Für Juliane; I Had The Craziest Dream; Mr. K. (Total Time: 54:55)
Personnel: Martin Sasse: Piano; Henning Gailing: Bass; Hendrik Smock: Drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.