Wolfgang Muthspiel – whom The New Yorker has called “a shining light” among today’s jazz guitarists – made his ECM leader debut in 2014 with the trio disc Driftwood, featuring him alongside two longtime colleagues, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade. For his follow-up – Rising Grace – the Austrian guitarist has convened a very special quintet, adding jazz luminary Brad Mehldau on piano and the outstanding young trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to the subtly virtuosic Grenadier/Blade rhythm section.
Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel makes his ECM leader debut with Driftwood, a trio album of subtlety and depth featuring renowned US jazz players Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade. Muthspiel – who recently made his first ECM appearance on Travel Guide as a member of a cooperative trio with fellow guitarists Ralph Towner and Slava Grigoryan – has enjoyed long, productive musical friendships live and on record with both Grenadier and Blade, leading to a sense of telepathic interplay on Driftwood.
»This recording is a true marvel!« ~Fanfare
"Equilibrium“ is the ECM debut of a German/Canadian/Spanish trio, which through frequent touring has grown into a remarkably tight and stylistically unique unit in recent years. Fuelled by the tension created through the contrasting styles of pianist Benedikt Jahnel (whose approach is characterised by an unusual interest in rhythmic subdivisions) and drummer Howard (who, in Jahnels words, “treats and perceives rhythmic phrases as melodical lines without fixed micro units”), and with bass player Antonio Miguel often the musical mediator, the group’s sound draws subtly from classical influences as well as contemporary concepts of groove. Leader Jahnel, also known as a member of Cyminology, has sharpened his profile playing with the Metropol Orchestra, Phil Woods, Johannes Enders, Charlie Mariano, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie.
Wolfgang Dauner, one of the few internationally renowned German jazz musicians, was born in Stuttgart on Dec. 30, 1935. Oddly enough, having learnt to play the piano as a child, he eventually graduated from the conservatory in Stuttgart with a major in “trumpet”. Yet, it is the piano that remains his great love. He fancied contemporary jazz and, in 1963, founded his first own band: The Wolfgang Dauner Trio, with Eberhard Weber playing the bass and Fred Braceful on the drums. He would continue playing with these musicians well into the 1970ies. Dauner is extremely important with regard to modern jazz and jazz rock in Germany, and his efforts can be compared to the spade work Miles Davis did for jazz and jazz rock in the USA.
For those needing a reminder of Cole's very original and expert piano playing, this 18-track roundup of some of his best instrumentals should fit the bill. Part of Capitol's three-volume series of Cole's classic trio sides (the other two cover the vocals), The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio includes gem after gem from the group's 1943-1949 prime and features the classic lineup that included guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. With Cole and Moore seamlessly blending lines throughout, the group forged the standard for many a piano trio to follow by way of classics like "Jumpin' at Capitol," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "These Foolish Things"…