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Winther, Andersson. Watts, WAW

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    Posted: 09 Jul 2024 at 6:05am
I’ve always believed that the convergence of diverse influences often yields some remarkable results. ‘WAW!’, the debut Trio recording by the trio of Carl Winther, Richard Andersson, and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, in my mind underpins to this notion, seamlessly blending the American and Danish modern jazz idioms into a vibrant and captivating sonic tapestry.

The genesis of this collaboration can be traced back to 2008, when Andersson and ‘Tain’ crossed paths during a jazz workshop in Denmark. This initial encounter sparked a mutual admiration that would eventually lead to multiple invitations for Andersson to contribute his talents to various projects helmed by the renowned drummer. As Andersson and Winther embarked on a separate collaboration, they realized the potential for a unique and harmonious collaboration when combined with ‘Tain’s’ distinctive style, thus paving the way for the conception of ‘WAW!’.

Grounded in the palpable energy of three highly experienced and renowned musicians, the album’s sound is a captivating amalgamation of Neo-Bop swing with a rich European harmonic flavor. The trio weaves seamlessly between moods with fluidity, personality, and confidence, creating a sonic tapestry that celebrates the distinct evolutions of jazz from both sides of the Atlantic.

Rhythmically dense basslines, emotive piano-led songwriting, and staggering drum solos unite each musician’s unmistakable voice in a dedicated and impassioned celebration of their craft. The album features four original compositions by Winther, as well as an interpretation of the 1934 ballad “My Old Flame,” showcasing the trio’s versatility and reverence for the jazz tradition.

The album opens with “Planet P,” an angular uptempo swinger that sets the tone with Winther’s high-energy solo. “Manhattan,” a straightforward swing piece, showcases the trio’s mastery of the genre, highlighted by Andersson’s well-crafted bass solo. The interpretation of “My Old Flame” is a beautiful and reverent nod to the Evansesque ballad tradition.


“Deconstructing Mr. X” stands out as the most contemporary offering, featuring a tight arrangement and exceptional playing from all three musicians. The album concludes with “Requiem for JW,” a composition that pays homage to the classical music tradition while maintaining a firm footing in the jazz idiom.

The individual artistry of each member of the trio is undeniable. Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, celebrated as one of the most influential drummers of his generation, brings a wealth of gravitas to the project. Together with Carl Winther, reliably esteemed as one of the most talented and innovative jazz pianists of his generation and bassist Richard Andersson, these three musicians form a trio of substantial substance.

At just under 40 minutes, ‘WAW!’ is a concise yet captivating exploration of the rich tapestry of the jazz piano trio tradition. While its brevity may be seen as a limitation from a traditional album perspective, it can also be viewed as a perfectly crafted vinyl experience. The album’s strength lies in its ability to seamlessly blend the distinct voices of three exceptional musicians, creating a vibrant and engaging sonic journey that celebrates the past while still embracing the future.

Line Up:
Carl Winther, Piano | Richard Andersson, Double Bass | Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Drums

Track Listing:
1. Planet P | 2. Manhattan | 3. My Old Flame | 4. Deconstructing Mr. X | 5 Requiem for JW

Release Date: 7 June 2024
Format: CD | LP | Streaming
Label: Hobby Horse  Records

from https://jazzineurope.mfmmedia.nl

Edited by snobb - 09 Jul 2024 at 6:06am
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