Achim Kaufmann Quartet

Double Exposure

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Achim Kaufmann is a rarity: a free-style pianist without any apparent debt to Cecil Taylor. Kaufmann seems to come from a post-bop aesthetic where he actually swings at times and appears comfortable with snatches of melody. His quartet is tightly rehearsed, the winding arrangements alternating with cluster-like escapades. Michael Moore is in peak form and perfectly suited to the pianist's style with his clarinets and alto sax playing a predominate role. Whether soft and subtle or aggressive and eclectic, his powerful presence makes a key contribution. Also impressive is John Hollenbeck's upfront drumming that rarely recedes but never gets in the way. John Schröder's electric guitars are a more delicate influence, adding color to the mix. The eight tunes never tire, in part because of the diversity but also due to the fascinating angular lines of Kaufmann who occupies that gray area between in and out genres. Like a modern-day Mingus, Kaufmann knows how to use his sidemen to key advantage.

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