Grupa Janke Randalu are hardly a typical jazz duo, as pianist Kristjan Randalu and drummer Bodek Janke do quite well without the presence of a bassist. This 2007 concert, performed at the Tollhaus in Karlsruhe, Germany, opens with an extended workout of the pianist's infectious "Confidance" in which the two musicians display an amazing degree of chemistry, with Janke's off-center stripped-down percussion (including a brief scatted percussion segment) providing fuel for Randalu's dazzling showpiece. The standard "All the Things You Are" is transformed into a rollicking setting full of surprises, while "Largo" from Antonin Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 (also known as "Goin' Home") is played straight initially, then a few dissonant piano runs and offbeat percussion are added in spots. "If I Were a Bell" opens with a percussion solo, with Randalu making a delayed entrance in a quirky, rapid-fire arrangement. The Estonian folk song "Igaühel Oma Pill" is altered to suggest the undercurrent of an Indian raga, adding a vocal chant, gradually working into a more conventional blend of classical music and jazz. Grupa Janke Randalu never take the expected path in any of these performances, so this live date is well worth investigating.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden