Half a world may separate Germany's Triosence and California singer Sara Gazarek, but the possibility of making beautiful music together helped to bridge the gap between both parties. When Bernhard Schüler, the pianist in this Cologne-based cooperative trio, contacted Gazarek via e-mail in 2008 to propose a collaboration, this project might have seemed like a long shot, but the wonders of technology and the powers of persistence and determination helped see it through. Schüler and Gazarek exchanged e-mails, wrote and reworked lyrics on the phone and in Skype sessions, and began a bi-continental partnership that eventually led to the creation of this lovely recording.
Schüler calls this "European Jazz with an American accent," but the music is really tender, folk-based fare that leans toward the American side of the aural equation. While hints of Jamaica, on the reggae-meets-swing opener, and Cuba, hinted at through Schüler's piano on "Summer Song," give the album a worldly visage and outgoing personality early on, that's all left behind when the music takes a turn for the introspective on the waltzing "You're My Spring." Gazarek and Bassist Ingo Senst have an opportunity to bond as they set the scene for the slowly drifting "Only One Evening," and an adult contemporary radio vibe even sneaks into the album on "Only Friends," "Morning Star" and "Let It In." Those three songs have an easy melodic appeal that sets them apart from the pack, but they don't have the same lasting impact as the haunting "Maybe There's A Princess Waiting" or the love lullaby "Where Time Stands Still."
Gazarek is the clear star here, with an irresistible voice that proves to be a beacon of emotional lucidity and purity, but Triosence sets the stage and serves as her musical stylist. Schüler, Senst and drummer Stephan Emig craft delicate, emotional cocoons that cushion, surround, and envelope Gazarek's angelic vocals, and the presence of guests like guitarist Frank Haunschild and violinist Andria Chang ("Where Time Stands Still") adds emotional weight and coloring.
Where Time Stands Still is a recorded artifact of an artistic marriage between two worlds but, more than that, it's a monument to the beauty and serenity that can be born out of a shared love for music and the process of creation.
I Can't Explain; Summer Song; You're My Spring; Morning Star; Like The Wind; Only One Evening; Only Friends; Maybe There's A Prince Waiting; You'll SeeYou; You Alone; Let It In; Where Time Stands Still.
Bernhard Schuler: piano; Ingo Senst: bass; Stephan Emig: drums; Sara Gazarek: voice; Frank Haunschild: guitar; Vitaly Zolotov: guitar; Andria Chang: violin; Lara Muller: voice.
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