Monday, August 3, 2009

Christian Lillinger, Eurojazz at its Finest

Lest anyone doubt that Europe has become a center for important Jazz, we have the example of drummer-composer Christian Lillinger and his first album Grund (Clean Feed). The group includes two bassists (Westergaard and Ladfermann), two reeds (Delius and Slavin), Lilinger's drums and several appearances by legendary pianist Joachim Kuhn.

This is the kind of music where the compositions and arrangements are at least equal to the solo time. Much good is made of the two-bass/drums rhythm section, which crackles, swings, tumbles and rumbles along as the ground (Grund) for what is built on top. The top consists of very interesting horn lines and some very solid solo work. It is free music but very much a disciplined approach to it. What is most impressive about the outing is the variety and sheer creativity of the pieces. There is an original voice at work and Mr. Lillinger has it.

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