Thursday, September 12, 2013

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, Outstairs

The new album by Christian Wallumrod and his ensemble affirms one thing--we live in an age where there is no shortage of innovative, excellent new music. Outstairs (ECM B0018469-02) is a very good example. Maestro Wallumrod fronts on piano his six-member ensemble which includes trumpet, violin-viola, tenor sax, cello and drums. His compositions are thoroughly through, so to speak, and very original. There is the nominal feel of jazz sometimes, but tempered by new music elements. Improvisation is not the main concern, and I assume there is not that much built into the scores from what I can hear. The music as composition speaks directly and uniquely so you do not feel the absence.

There are world elements and Euro-folk elements to be heard, but so well-integrated into Wallumrod's startlingly personal melodic-harmonic-voicing way that all becomes Wallumrod Music.

This is music so different I have trouble describing it. It is exceedingly beautiful. Wallumrod is a force to be heard, perhaps a gentle force, but essential for those adventurous listeners out there. Very much recommended.

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