may not yet be a household name among jazz aficionados in the United States, but since the turn of the millennium, they have become a fixture of the German jazz scene. In addition to performing internationally, they take a distinctly cosmopolitan approach to their sound. Past albums have shown the trio intermingling aromas of Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and Hidden Beauty
is no different in that respect. However, its compositions are the group's most taut and compelling to date.
"As If It Was Yesterday" immediately establishes the album's atmosphere as lyrical and upbeat, with barely a minute going by before pianist Bernhard Schüler introduces an eminently memorable refrain. With Jan Erik Kongshaug
behind the knobs, it is little surprise that the effect of Hidden Beauty
's opening notes on the ears is stellar. The real excitement arrives with the title track, as Triosence demonstrates their knack for propulsive, versatile arrangements. Schüler and double bassist Matthias Nowak
launch an impassioned riff right out of the gate, spurred by the rollicking drums of Stephan Emig
. "Hidden Beauty" has all the fervor of a rock anthem, even as its middle section takes an unexpectedly boisterous digression.
More than on previous albums, Hidden Beauty
finds Triosence embracing a dynamic that moves from gradual escalation to thrilling release. "Sad Chilean" and "Juqueí" begin softly, establishing melodic themes which the players later improvise around energetically. Several tracks, like "Leave Me Here," "Thaisinha" and "Day at Scarlett's," remind more of Bill Evans
than Esbjorn Svensson
. The leisurely pace and unabashed romance of the latter demonstrate that the trio are fully capable of switching gears between adventurous and more traditional. Hidden Beauty
can be unexpectedly direct, catchy, and even cacophonous, sometimes all in the space of a single track (see "Hit by Life"). Triosence manages to make these disparate emotions and styles elegantly harmonize in an undeniably joyous package.
As If It Was Yesterday; Hidden Beauty; Sad Chilean; Hit By Life; Thaisinha; Day At Scarlett's; Some
Things Never Change; Out Of Reach; Juqueí; Leave Me Here; Basically It's All Quite Simple