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This release finds an interactive pianist and percussionist duo providing a stimulating program of jazz standards, classical and original material. Estonian-born pianist/composer Kristjan Randalu and Polish native/percussionist Bodek Janke collaborate on a variety of selections that reflect their twenty years of experience working together.
Randalu's opener, "Confidance," is a major source of attraction. This thirteen-minute composition begins with a lyrical ninety seconds from the pianist before the tempo increases and the percussion enters. The duo offers a variety of tempo changes and percussive colorations, including a false ending at the nine minute mark, which prefaces a drum solo from Janke, with Randalu comping.
The Hammerstein/Kern standard, "All the Things You Are," provides a good opportunity to hear how the duo works with familiar material and succeeds admirably. A subsequent interpretation of Frank Loesser's "If I Were A Bell" is less successful, with too much of a percussive attitude. With the shading provided by Janke over the course of the first two tracks, the resulting music sounds very much like a full jazz piano trio.
"Igaühel oma pill" is a traditional children's song of Estonian origin, with a nice melody line. Janke is heard humming to himself, however, which is distracting to the music. This lengthy tune and "Confidance" provide half of the music on Live, indicating that the duo knows how to maximize their respective talents over the course of extended compositions.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.