As we've learned time and time again throughout this sick year, 2021, not many humans are ready to completely surrender themselves for the good of their fellow kind. So it's truly a beautiful thing when Berlin based pianist Julie Sassoon
surrenders so completely to her instrument and the moment that, like a medium, reveals mysteries to us in ways both intimate and oceanic.
When woman and piano meet, If You Can't Go Outside. . .Go Inide
may, for its first few seconds of being, recall those floating ecstasies brought to the fore decades ago by Will Ackerman
and his Windham Hill label-mates, aka George Winston
, Mark Isham
, Michael Hedges
, etc. But, as Sassoon knows on a very cellular level, so much has happened since then that new anxieties, new potions and realizations are bound to be laying in wait for us all. So she is open to it all.
Akin to meditation, pianist and listener become immersed and active participants to each moment of creation and listening. Sassoon's thoughts are never extraneous. They are building blocks that crest and valley. Quiet reprieve, crashing thunder. Her classical theories curve and mesh intuitively into her heated muscle jazz improvisation resulting in two lengthy journeys into the present past and past future. Each its own puzzle. Each its own resolve.
The twenty minute trance "At the Water Fountain" is an emotive, forward tumbling elegy of darkness and light. Sledgehammer and flower. While it swirls around you its center stays calm, and from that vantage both pianist and listener watch the world move. "Murmuration" is the highly accelerated reaction. How do you move away while moving towards and vice versa? Sassoon may not have the answers but she invites you to think, solve, and figure a better way. A higher calling. Huzzah to that!
At the Water Tower; Murmuration.