Briefly concurring with the first review, this is a first rate release only slightly short of being a classic. Jahnel was previously heard on Cyminology's "As Ney" but, intriguing as that was, "Equilibrium" is in a different league. "Moorland and Hill Land" (a very Garbarekesque title) is the longest and less immediate track but contains some passages of beguiling beauty but, for me, the highlights are opener "Gently Understood", "Wrangel" and the closing title track which are all cut of similar, if luxurious cloth. Owen Howard's percussion is propulsive but subtle and full of colour and Jahnel reveals himself to be an almost endless fount of inspiration,his flights of fancy anchored by Antonio Miguel's bass. In a world not exactly shy of great contemporary piano trios, "Equilibrium" introduces a significant new talent.
This recording his highly typical of the ECM ethos,a trio of Swiss/American and Spanish musicians,who combine to make an album of absolute beauty,recorded as more ECM albums seem to be now in the Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera in Lugano.This is a wonderfully full sounding recording in the tradition of ECM trio albums 1)Gently understood(5.01)This track starts with what sounds like an electronically treated bass with the piano very much to the fore,the sound is amazing. 2)Sacred silence (7.11)again the piano has such a magnificent tone,superbly lyrical playing adds to this,there is also a lovely bass solo on this. 3)Moorland and hill land(13.52)there are echoes of EST here,and given the extended playing time,it is glorious. (Do you get the impression that i like this album?) 4)Wrangel(9.01)a slower piece,than what has gone before but still of high quality 5) Augmented(4.41)More wonderful playing from all three 6)Hidden beauty (4.19)dextrous playing is the order of the day. 7) Equilibrium(9.39)the perfect end to a momentous album.
To sum up then,an astonishing album,well deserving its five star status.
RECORDED IN JULY 2011 RELEASED IN 2012
BENEDIKT JAHNEL......PIANO ANTONIO MIGUEL.....DOUBLE BASS OWEN HOWARD......DRUMS
VALUE FOR MONEY......££££ BEST TRACKS......GENTLY UNDERSTOOD,S ACRED SILENCE,MOORLAND AND HILL LAND,EQUILIBRIUM PACKAGING......JEWEL CASE WITH THREE FOLD BOOKLET SOUND QUALITY AND PRODUCTION *****
In a busy life it's sometimes difficult to find the times to stop and enjoy this kind of understated music. Sitting alone on a Sunday morning with no cares in the world is when this music has really touched my soul. It's not often a piece of music can feel more important than all the things one 'has to do'. In that sense it feels like it's life changing in some small way.
even better than modular concepts, their previous album - i cannot recommend this highly enough - well structured, evocative - this is a distillation of all that is good in contemporary european piano trio jazz