Sebastian Weiss

Polaroid Memory

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German pianist Sebastian Weiss debuts in a trio setting, with bassist Bob Bowen III and drummer Dan Weiss (no relation). Over the course of ten original compositions, Weiss shows an ability to convey impressionistic moods with a commanding rhythmic force. His harmonic sense is advanced yet accessible, imparting hints of a classical influence. One hears a bit of McCoy Tyner in the opening waltz "Across the Water," and a trace of Ahmad Jamal's "Poinciana" in the bouncing, bitonal "Tioga 28." Bowen's resonant low notes heighten the inherently dramatic pedal points that distinguish "Picture of Kerstin"; his melodic sense comes into play on the tranquil "Shifting Views." Dan Weiss dialogues excitedly with the piano on "Blues for a Brave Drummer," while on the challenging "Change of Pace" he sets up an explosive drum'n'bass groove and delivers an impressive solo. Other strong tracks include the hard-swinging "Nonsense Conversation," the mournful yet gleaming ballad "In the Fading Light," and the upbeat finale "Things to Come." Striking, and highly recommended.

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