Pablo Held Trio: Investigations

Roger Farbey By

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The complex title perfectly characterises Pablo Held's compositional approach. Here he utilises light and shade to mix swathes of tranquillity with petulant stabbing phrases accompanied by equally sharp drum retorts. However, and this is crucial, the piece flows together seamlessly.

The lissome nature of "Dr Freeds" betrays an influence of Bill Evans but the ethereal, searching quality encapsulating "I'll Dream Of Flowers" is more reminiscent of compositions by Held's erstwhile mentor, the British jazz piano virtuoso John Taylor. The integrated tightness of the trio on the opening to "Yearning" is phenomenal as is the coiled-spring tension that's released half way through that number. The lyricism of "April Sonne," the sonic contours of "Birkenhain" or the questioning staccato piano runs on the spacey "Haiku Kit," here embellished by guest keyboardist Hubert Nuss, all add up to a very superior studio session indeed.

Investigations is the tenth album by Held as leader with his regular rhythm section comprising Robert Landfermann on bass and Jonas Burgwinkel on drums which he's used since their first record together in 2007, Forest Of Oblivion. The trio gel together as well as any jazz unit could hope to aspire and even exude something of the near-supernatural compatibility of the legendary Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette line-up. In 2014 the Held's trio recorded a live album in Cologne with guitarist John ScofieldThe Trio Meets John Scofield, (Pirouet Records, 2016); and whilst mostly recognised as a European outfit, as evidenced by this stunningly beautiful album, the group really needs to be recognised as a world class trio of exceptional talent.

Track Listing: Investigations; Dr. Freeds; I’ll Dream of Flowers; Yearning; Stubborn; April Sonne; Birkenhain; Haiku Kit.

Personnel: Pablo Held: piano; Robert Landfermann: double bass; Jonas Burgwinkel: drums plus Hubert Nuss: keyboards (8).

Title: Investigations | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Edition Records

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