1021 Starmelodics


Audio Excerpt:

Starmelodics features pianist Achim Kaufmann with the great bassist Mark Dresser and drummer/percussionist Harris Eisenstadt.

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This disc, which was recorded in Brooklyn, features challenging compositions by each musician and three well-realized improvisations.

According to Bill Shoemaker’s liner notes, “The album’s six compositions and three improvisations circumscribe terrain Kaufmann, Dresser and Eisenstadt have respectively traversed many times, albeit taking different routes with various musicians.”

According to Bruce Gallanter from the Downtown Music Gallery, “A most impressive piano trio that doesn’t quite sound like a piano trio. What I find most interesting about this disc is that although I can hear what is most distinctive about each individual player, it is the unique group that is most surprising or unexpected. The full dynamic range is almost too much for my computer’s speakers, so I must listen to this on a more expansive stereo. The title track is skeletal and stark, yet it still evokes something much bigger than it appears. There are three shorter pieces that are wholly improvised; they sound improvised, yet still have an air of mystery as to where they will land. I love the way Harris’ ‘Vancouver’ shifts through a variety of tempos, swinging joyously one moment and then turning in another direction soon thereafter. Achim’s ‘Birdz’ consists of some extremely minimal, eerie sounds, like small sounds from the inside of the piano, minimal hand percussion and rubbed bass strings, the sound is almost invisible but still felt. Perhaps it should be called ‘Insectz’? On Marc’s ‘Flac’, Dresser repeats this melodic figure throughout, while the rest of the trio moves around him without landing on the figure completely, adding a bit of dislocation, yet still retaining a sense of calm. On Achim’s ‘Qualtinger’, it sounds as if the trio is moving in separate waves, coming together, submerging and emerging within a form. Harris’ ‘Seattle’ is a solemn ballad that is touching and lyrical in a most haunting way. Sometimes patience is required to see or hear what lies beneath the surface of expectation.”

This recording, which was recorded and mixed in the 24 bit domain, features an 8-page booklet with liner notes from journalist Bill Shoemaker, and intriguing cover art from Fort Worth-based artist Sevan Melikyan.


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