186

Achim Kaufmann: Knives

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Achim Kaufmann: Knives Achim Kaufmann's first solo piano disc is a study in atonal expressionism and sonic adventurism, draped in dark mysteries. Recorded mainly at the Bimhuis in the pianist's home city of Amsterdam, Knives consists of eighteen fairly short pieces that showcase Kaufmann's technical excellence, his aptitude for instant orchestration, his imaginative use of "mixed techniques" (ie. prepared piano), and his firm yet idiosyncratic grasp of jazz piano tradition.



One cannot but admire the discipline of his left-hand bass lines on "A Dreg of Red" and "Marche B2," or his elliptical use of tonality on "More Than a Simple Shoreline" and the closing thirty seconds of "Sheets Surfacing Like an Ocean." Only six of the pieces entail mixed techniques, but their aural and emotive range is broad—from the muted percussivism of "Dips and Proclivities" to the whooshing and scraping of "Heavy Lace," the Zen-like calm of "Space Usually Given Over to Knives," and the pinging, Eastern-tinged high notes of "Sand Melody." In his liner notes, Greg Buium lists some of Kaufmann's tools: a plastic ruler, fingers, a sander, and a piano-tuning wedge, among other things.

There is a rich contrast and a good deal of overlap between Kaufmann's abstract sound art and his more "traditional" pieces. One hears it in the jump from "Her Hair a Dark River," with its crescendoing knocks and groans, to the stately yet obscure harmonies of "No Trace of Food, or Grief" and "Four Small Rooms." But the most striking departure is a seven-minute reading of "2300 Skidoo" by Herbie Nichols. Beginning with staccato jabs and harsh clusters, Kaufmann eases into the swinging melody gradually, using tempo as one dramatic device among many. His right-hand tremolos and neo-stride reference points make clear that this "out" player can access "in" at any moment.


Track Listing: The Last Vestiges; A Dreg of Red; Your Smile a Stone, Shattering My Breath; Dips and Proclivities; More Than a Simple Shoreline; Landscape Faux-Naïf; Sheets Surfacing Like an Ocean; Space Usually Given Over to Knives; Her Hair a Dark River, And in Its Depths Ghosts and Goblins; No Trace of Food, Or Grief; Four Small Rooms; Marche B2; 2300 Skiddoo; Heavy Lace; Of Water Plants and Figurines; Sand Melody; Windows Composing Trees; Beyond Which the Blue Trembles.

Personnel: Achim Kaufmann: piano.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Tournesol" CD/LP/Track Review Tournesol
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "George DeLancey" CD/LP/Track Review George DeLancey
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Burnt Hibiscus" CD/LP/Track Review Burnt Hibiscus
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Sunday Bolero" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Bolero
by James Nadal
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!