German pianist and composer Andreas Herrmann
, who in the past has been nominated for a number of awards, including the German Jazz Prize for his trio output in 2010, adds a guitar to his usual formation on his newest release The Child in Me'
, ultimately leading to a wider soundscape and more atmospherically melodious development.
According to the composer, present record is supposed to articulate impressions and pictures of childhood, thus take the listener on a sensual journey. The Child in Me
reaches this goal by presenting melancholic melodies framed in gentle harmonic progressions, mostly in the key of minor. Nevertheless, having gathered together a young and talented team of musicians, the compositions also prove of energetic and dynamic treatment.
In many situations guitarist Norbert Scholly
becomes the center of attention, being handed the reins to most solo passages. Andreas Herrmann lays out wide spread arpeggiated patterns in the background leaving Schollly the room for a variety of solos, skillfully executed by continuously adapting his guitar tone to the atmosphere and choosing fitting melodious concepts that don't stray far from the harmonic frame but remain interesting all the same. The finest moments exemplifying said concept occur when he breaks free from the feather light melody lines, which in most cases are introduced and carried throughout in unison by guitar and piano. Demonstrating a vast variety in style, his solo on "Rain" implies strong influences from Pat Metheny while his tone and technique on "Youth" reflects a more blues-oriented approach, such as found with the likes of John Scofield.
The compositions on display are for the most part of mellow nature and cozily wrap the listener in a warm blanket, ergo giving the album a dreamy flow -at times though dangerously close to losing grip of the listeners attention. Enter the youngest member of the band, Fabian Rösch
. Not only laying out a mature rhythmic foundation, Rönch also demonstrates a finesse in accompanying more atmospheric sections with exciting polyrhythms, adding spice and lively colors to the mix. The Latin-Jazz infused "Wind" finds the entire ensemble at their most energetic and introduces a lighter atmosphere to the otherwise heavily melancholic body of songs.
Andreas Herrmann achieves his goal of creating an impressionistic album with bravour. The shapes and colors diffused by this quartet drift by with gentle movement, never bursting into the obscure but recalling the simpler events of the past, present and future.