2. Olive Tree
4. Black Ice
11. Bemani (var.)
12. Glass Room
13. Fall (var.)
The Dutch pianist and composer Wolfert Brederode is probably one of the lesser known talents on the European jazz scene, even though he has been active
there since his early 20s (he is now some twenty years in the business). This is despite the whole range of musicians he has worked with, which include
Michel Portal, Mark Feldman, Tore Brunberg and Arve Hendrikson. He has composed for film, theatre and dance productions, and is a teacher of jazz piano and
ensemble at the conservatories of Tilberg and The Hague. He has also fronted his own quintet, quartet and now a new trio. He is joined for this recording
by double bassist Gulli Gudmundsson, Icelandic-born but resident in the Netherlands since 1993. Gudmundsson has been a regular musical partner for
Brederode over recent years. The third member of the group, Jasper van Hulten, is another musician from the Netherlands. With the exception of Conclusion, all the music on the album is written by Brederode.
My particular favourites are Olive Tree and Curtains. Olive Tree contains some fine atmospheric playing and improvisation on the
theme. The group as a whole shine. Curtains sounds for all the world like a Brad Mehldau piece, stylishly delivered, with the impeccable Brederode
supported with subtlety by his colleagues. There are plenty of other enjoyable moments to be heard on the disc. Elegia, for instance, is a
charming, poignant melody where Brederode demonstrates a delicate touch with quality support from the percussion of van Hulten and the bass of Gudmundsson. Bemani is a lingering, reflective piece. Cocoon features expressive, measured playing on piano, with discreet but effective drumming from
van Hulten and a further fine bass solo. Fall displays the collaborative skills of the group, as does Rewind. Glass Room
provides yet another sensitive take on original material with a flowing interrogation of the theme. All this is very positive, though there are occasional
disappointments, too. Black Ice, the title track, while an interesting exploration, falls short of much of the rest of the album. Terminal is mercifully brief and Conclusion failed to reach one, if you get my drift.
Nevertheless, this is meditative, elegant late-night listening in the style beloved of the ECM brand. Although an occasional change of mood might have been
helpful, the music is of a high order. It can only enhance Brederode's growing reputation.