Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

106

Kristjan Randalu / Bodek Janke: Live

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Live | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazz'N'Arts Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "After The Rain" CD/LP/Track Review After The Rain
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Standards" CD/LP/Track Review Standards
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 12, 2017

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!