Three Great Pianists
Wow. An album that combines three very talented Jazz pianists.
I’ve shared my admiration for the German pianist Michael Wollny several times (see here, here, and here for example), and have also mentioned him in my 25 Essential Jazz albums.
I’ve also already written about the Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala previously (see my review of Anyone with a Heart here).
Leszek Mozdzer from Poland is the only artist I haven’t written about yet, but his album Komeda is very much worth checking out.
As regular readers of my blog will have seen, I was quite a regular visitor at the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall, but I’m quite sad I missed this particular pan-European concert evening that was recorded live in 2016.
Leszek Mozdzer, Iiro Rantala, Michael Wollny – Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic VII – Piano Night (ACT 2017)
Let me start with the highlight of this album: Chick Corea´s La Fiesta, from his legendary Return to Forever album. I’m very sure Corea would endorse this fantastically energetic live version. There is one Fender Rhodes electric piano involved, similar to the sound of Corea´s famous 1970s band. It is hard to tell just from listening who plays the Fender, but the booklet makes it clear: the three actually take turns!
Highlight number two is another Jazz standard, Gershwin´s Summertime, in a fantastic version.
But don’t expect the other songs to be of any lower level, from the very first second you’ll get absorbed by three outstanding musicians who clearly have a lot of fun together. Some of the previous tracks are originals. Rantala contributes Freedom, and Mozdzer She Said She Was A Painter.
If you like energetic piano jazz, this album is highly recommended.
My rating: 4 stars
You can find it here (Qobuz) and here (Prostudiomasters).
If you don’t like downloads, you’ll need to go with the 180g vinyl pressing, as this album is not available as a regular CD.