This second release from Germany's Sebastian Liedke Trio is initially so unassuming that it is only on repeated listens that the music unfolds in understated complexity. Within the treatments of its six original tunes, the contemplative nature of the music is infused with a bristling energy. Roughly translating to a "turning point," Zeitenwende is, indeed, that for bassist Liedke. Parting company with his original drummer and pianist, Liedke is now partnered with Lucia Martinez and Felix Otterbeck in those respective roles.
The Spanish-born Martinez is an extremely resourceful and accomplished jazz percussionist despite being only in her twenties. She does much more than supply a beat with her all around ability to utilize a wide array of paraphernalia to create subtle textures. Otterbeck brings a classical element to some very intricate improvisations, carrying "Vio" and the title track. Liedke wisely allows Otterbeck to take a number of lengthy solos throughout the set; given that the leader hails from a heavy metal background, both diversity and a collective empathy contribute to the finely tuned group dynamic.
"Vergiss Mein Nicht" represents one of Zeitenwende's better examples of this trio's excellent interplay. Otterbeck opens with a beautifully relaxed melody countered by Martinez, who works her way up from gentle brushing of the cymbals to a minor explosion from various components of her drum kit. Around the half way mark, Liedke takes a solo that resonates with a deep, Charlie Haden-like woodiness and melodic sensibility. As the piece builds in drama, Otterbeck demonstrates the kind of speed, aptitude and musicality that could easily be mistaken for Brad Mehldau. `
The result of this new formation is a sound that is less minimal than Liedke's self-produced, To Walk In The Past (2010). That should in no way suggest that his debut is a lesser accomplishment, just a bit sparser landscape. Here, Otterbeck contributes one composition, with Liedke penning the remainder. Clocking in at under forty minutes, Zeitenwende is quality over quantitya beautiful and engaging collection where anticipation in a future peaked by Liedke's original trio is surpassed by the bassist's revised lineup.
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