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Hülsmann Trio, Julia: Imprint

Julia Hülsmann was born in Bonn, Germany and took up the piano at the age of eleven. She eventually studied under Peter Herbolzheimer in Berlin and played with the Bundesjugend Jazz Orchestra.

Imprint is her second release on ECM Records, her first was entitled The End Of Summer. ECM productions exude class and Imprint is no exception as it has all the qualities we have come to expect from ECM.

Hülsmann's piano playing is exceptional as her delicate brushstrokes paint an absorbing picture in delicate hues and tones. At times her playing becomes more forceful and intense and her palette of colour becomes more bold, but it is her finesse on the keys that is truly exceptional. She also makes room for the other musicians which include Marc Muellbauer (double-bass) and Heinrich Köbberling (drums). All three musicians shine with considerable skill making an album that is accessible yet with an underlying thread of complexity that is always there, bristling at the surface.

This is a delicate album and it all stems from Hülsmann's piano. Her elegance is ably demonstrated throughout and her penchant for melody is what makes this album so easy to listen to. It is an album of quiet contemplation, a subtle exploration in the world of ensemble jazz.

Your journey will begin with the pretty and subdued "Rond Point", a song steeped in minimalism and subtlety. "Grand Canyon" carries a darker mood and features snappy drum work and gentle piano motifs with the bass of Muellbauer given room to shine. A hint of sadness creeps into the gently sweeping "A Light Left On" while "Ritual" has the trio delving into chaos with sweeping piano lines that build in intensity. Finesse becomes an art form in the lovely "Ulmenwall" with deceivingly complex drum work and in "Zahlen bitte" Köbberling really shows off his chops in the beginning drum solo. The song builds toward the end as drums and piano become more intense penetrating the calm soundscape.

This is another excellent release from ECM and one that I highly recommend to anyone wishing to explore trio ensemble jazz of the highest caliber.

Track Listing:
1. Rond Point
2. Grand Canyon
3. A Light Left On
4. Juni
5. Storm In A Teacup
6. (Go And Open) The Door
7. Kauf dir einen bunten Luftballon
8. Ritual
9. Lulu's Paradise
10. Ulmenwall
11. Zahlen bitte
12. Who's Next

Added: April 26th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1602
Language: english

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