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Julie Sassoon: Inside Colours Live


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Julie Sassoon: Inside Colours Live
Shedding warm illuminations on all our fragile, secretive, sensuous moments, is the underlying axiom behind British pianist/composer Julie Sassoon 's vulnerable and telling music. A classicist at heart who, whether she is aware of it or not, comes at her music in much the manner as Marilyn Crispell—visceral, personal, labyrinthine, yet ultimately accessible—Sassoon's sense of the improbable and the possible doesn't so much dominate the live performances that comprise Inside Colours Live as they green-light both to occur simultaneously.

A resourceful composer with a CV that includes Ingrid Laubrock, Andreas Willers, and Willi Kellers Sassoon instructs and constructs Inside Colours Live into a fully realized 2CD set exemplifying her conceptual, conversational approach. "Clouds"is a most beautiful passage which begins things quietly. An expansive band of cirrus clouds blends into to the rolling and tumbling of sunlit cumulus . . . There are storm clouds of course but their fury is brief. Accustomed to the pianist's dramatic minimalism and open constructs—the duo have the held listener's rapt attention before, notably 2022's quartet endeavor Voyages (Jazzwerkstatt) and 2000's trio recording Azilut! (Babel) with drummer Bart van Helsdingen—saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier, his tones at once sonorous, caustic and ruminative, reflects and calls forth. He beckons within the sonata "To Be." He flutters and breathes life to the seismic contours of the Bach-like suite "This One's A Boy." The riveting testimonials "Coming Home" and "Land of Shadows" both inspired and built upon the riff-space and austere logics of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass soothe and hypnotize.

Disc Two of Inside Colours Live adds daughter Mia Ohlmeier to the drummer's chair, and "Shifting" comes into focus. Borne on Sassoon's innate lyricism, the music shape shifts and magnifies. Revisiting several of the compositions from Disc One, the trio bring new spark, a new light. Themes return ("Shifting," "To Be," the explosive "Coming Home,") but are never held onto long enough to get staid or predictable or too much like the duo version before it. Young Ohlmeier holds her own, lending a rawer, rockier voice. The cataclysmic "Expectations" (with the whole family unit locked into something bigger than the music and the stage) closes Inside Colours Live, making the album, unlike so many family outings that result in doom scrolling or familial bickering, a rich and riveting listen.

Track Listing

CD 1: Cloud; To Be; This One's A Boy; Shifting; Coming Home; Land Of Shadows; Baghdad Cafe; Somnia In B-Flat. CD2: Shifting; To Be; Coming Home; Land Of Shadows; Expectations.


Lothar Ohlmeier
saxophone, tenor

Album information

Title: Inside Colours Live | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Jazzwerkstatt



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