The Invariant, as in a "constant," is a fitting title for Benedikt Jahnel Trio who have recorded as a unit since their debut Modular Concepts (Material label, 2008) and later moving on to the ECM label with Equilibrium (2012). Jahnel, a musician and mathematician in Berlin, has a deep appreciation for complex similarities between the two disciplines and he reveals an ability to peel away the superficial elements to tinker with the inner workings of the music.
Knowing his trio-mates as well as he does allows Jahnel to tailor his compositions to match their strengths. He continues to develop creative concepts around irregular meters and layering of sounds as on the opening piece "Further Consequences." Jahnel's lightning-fast piano propels "Mirrors" initially, before the piece takes a precipitous drop in tempo with Miguel's deep, woody bass solo. Accented by a superb solo from Howard, the appealingly off-kilter "Part of the Game" opens with a torrent of piano notes, in a piece that is in direct contrast to the gentle balladry of "For the Encore." "Interpolation One" has Miguel and Jahnel working independently, knit together by Howard's intricate direction.
The compositions on The Invariant include pieces the Jahnel has developed over the past five years though there is a consistency across the program that points toward a more focused pattern of creativity. As dominant as the pianist's play can beand often isthe album is clearly a democratic model where all the artists have the opportunity to display their considerable talents.
Track Listing: Further Consequences; The Circuit; Mirrors; Mono Lake; Part Of The Game; For The Encore; Interpolation One; En passant.
Personnel: Benedikt Jahnel: piano; Antonio Miguel: bass; Owen Howard: drums.
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