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Trios – Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, Organic Trio, Ben Rosenblum, Peter Erskine; Julia Hulsmann

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Jazz Trios. A variety of flavors... Free Nelson Mandoom Jazz The Organ Grinder RareNoise Records 2016 Free Nelson Mandoomjazz is not exactly your posterchild for traditional jazz trios, nominally comprised of wind player Rebecca Sneddon, bassist Colin Stewart and drummer Paul Archibald. <em>Organ Grinder</em> is a recording happily in the mode of UB40's completely mood-altering <em>Signing Off</em> (Graduate Records, 1980). &#147;Mood altering" in the sense that the music's effect is hypnotic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hülsmann Trio: Sooner And Later

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After expanding to an instrumental quartet--a quintet, with the vocalist Theo Bleckmann included--pianist Julia Hülsmann returns to a trio formation on her fourth ECM release, Sooner And Later. Bassist Marc Muellbauer and drummer Heinrich Köbberling have been part of that core through the previous three ECM outings, The End of a Summer (2008), Imprint (2011) and A Clear Midnight--Kurt Weill and America (2015) as well through Hülsmann's ACT Music years.Despite a long, productive career and considerable recognition in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Julia Hülsmann Quartet w/ Theo Bleckmann: A Clear Midnight - Weill and America

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Given enough time, things in life often come around full circle. Julia Hülsmann's three recordings for Munich's ACT label were all vocal affairs, where the German pianist's core trio--with bassist Marc Muellbauer and drummer Heinrich Köbberling--were joined by singers ranging from Norway's Rebekka Bakken to Germany's Roger Cicero. Since moving to another Munich label, the more heralded ECM Records, Hülsmann has demonstrated a more careful approach to expanding and evolving her work. Her first two recordings for the label--2008's The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann Quartet: In Full View

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There's no denying the benefit of stable longevity, but neither is there anything wrong with change. Following three ACT recordings that featured her trio--together since Scattering Poems (ACT, 2003)--supporting a series of vocalists, Julia Hülsmann moved to ECM, where the pianist was afforded greater freedom to more fully explore her trio's potential on 2008's The End Of A Summer and 2011's Imprint. Both albums presented a trio beyond anything left to prove and functioning in thoroughly egalitarian fashion, both compositionally ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Imprint

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Longevity is tough to maintain, in a time when artists largely need to work with a variety of projects to make a living, but there are increasing (and encouraging) signs of the value placed on chemistry and the kind of collective voice that evolves naturally, over time. German pianist Julia Hülsmann has maintained the same trio lineup for 15 years, though her early releases on the ACT label were augmented with vocalists and, in the case of Good Morning Midnight ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann: Imprint

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Manfred Eicher's Munich-based ECM Records specializes in spacious, absorbing records that reveal their inner workings, labyrinth-like, over the course of many listens. Some releases reveal themselves from the first note; with others, it can take years. Pianist Julia Hülsmann's sixth record--and second for ECM--Imprint, manages both. Hülsmann's trio isn't new--it has had more than a decade to establish its stylistic identity. But when the ensemble moved to ECM, releasing its label debut, The End of a Summer, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann Trio: The End of a Summer

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ECM Records stalwarts like Bobo Stenson, Tord Gustavsen and Keith Jarrett have, over the years, helped to define the German label's high quality artistry in the piano arena. And then there are the new players who offer up gorgeously compelling debuts that point in the direction of the future. In 2007 it was Anat Fort, with her exquisite A Long Story. In 2008 the label shines its debut spotlight on the Julia Hulsmann Trio with The End of a Summer.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann Trio: The End Of A Summer

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Why do some artists achieve popularity in their own country and fail to make an impression elsewhere, while others cross that boundary with apparent ease? It's easy to argue that there's an “X" factor involved, a singular and identifiable something that allows an Esbjorn Svensson to attain international stature while pianist Julia Hulsmann, with a trio nearly as old as the late Svensson's heralded e.s.t., hasn't managed to break out of her native Germany. Differentiation is key; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julia Hulsmann Trio With Roger Cicero: Good Morning Midnight

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Emily Dickinson isn't the first name to spring to mind when you're thinking poetry and jazz. Rural (she lived in Amherst, Massachusetts all her life), introspective, and of strict Calvinist upbringing, Dickinson and jazz sound about as likely as Baz Lurman and a biopic about St Francis of Assissi.

But the unlikeliest of bedfellows sometimes make the sweetest music, and Julia Hulsmann's Good Morning Midnight is such a union: soulful, sinewy piano trio jazz, set around ten Dickinson poems plus ...


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