106

Kristjan Randalu / Bodek Janke: Live

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Kristjan Randalu / Bodek Janke: Live Pianist Kristjan Randalu and drummer Bodek Janke have performed as a duo for more than twenty years, and quite naturally have developed an exceedingly close rapport. Live is a recording of the award ceremony concert for Randalu winning the 2007 Baden-Wurttemberg Jazz Prize. Coincidentally, Janke won the same prize in 2008.

Each musician separately is highly energetic, inventive and full of good spirits. Together, they threaten to pull you out of your seat, put a smile on your face and get you moving. The music they make is not complicated, but direct and full of enough surprises to grab and keep your attention, as indicated by the wild applause from the audience.

The opening and closing tracks—"Confidance," an original by Randalu, and "Igaühel oma pill," a traditional Estonian tune arranged by Randalu—take up half of the recording's 50 minutes. Both are wondrous romps that have Randalu's precise and rhythmically incisive playing feeding the equally propulsive percussion work of Janke. Each musician can take and hold the lead; and, since they know each other so well, the organic arrangements feel quite natural.

However, it is the two standards, plus the arrangement of the familiar "Largo" from Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "Z Nového sv?ta" (From the New World) Op.95 (1893) that are the most impressive. Randalu expertly controls the tension as he maintains the balance between staying in contact with the tune and moving away from its melodic contours.

Randalu introduces "All the Things You Are" obliquely, with hints of the melody dropped along the way until it becomes clear what he is playing. At one point, Janke jumps in and the two are off and running. However, instead of merely being a headlong rush of inventions on the theme, the duo continually shifts moods and meter while maintaining the tempo. The effect is wonderful, as is the trading that goes on between the two players.

A bell, followed by various cymbals and a percussion solo from Janke, introduces "If I Were a Bell," so the tune is actually unknown until Randalu enters. Once again, the song is refracted a number of ways, with sections of differing energy and emphasis; but having a constant tempo. Janke is masterful in his percussive accompaniment, which varies continuously, raising it to percussive counterpoint.

Randalu plays inside the piano to begin Dvorak's "Largo," as Janke raises controlled squeals from his cymbals, indicating an expansive treatment of the ensuing theme, which is taken apart and put back together in a light-hearted but serious way.

Randalu and Janke are a unique and highly talented duo, playing extroverted and entertaining music. Live demonstrates the appropriateness of giving them the consecutive jazz awards, as their music communicates the joy of giving and receiving.



Visit Kristjan Randalu and Bodek Janke on the web.


Track Listing: Confidance; All the Things You Are; Largo (from Dvorak's Symphony No. 9); Hinken; If I Were a Bell; Iga

Personnel: Kristjan Randalu: piano; Bodek Janke: percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazz'N'Arts Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Basement Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Blues
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!