leszek możdżer / iiro rantala / michael wollny Jazz At Berlin Philharmonic VII: Piano Night (LP, £18.25)
“Three men, three pianos, one emotion - jazz.” These were the words with which German national TV news succinctly summed up the piano summit on 31st May 2016 in a sold-out main hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. The TV news reporter continued: “Iiro Rantala, Leszek Możdżer, Michael Wollny. Each in a class of his own. Together, they’re a miracle.” Is there perhaps an element of déjà vu in this story? These were the same three jazz piano greats who had performed at the very first ‘Jazz At Berlin Philharmonic’ in December 2012, the event which triumphantly set in motion the concert series curated by Siggi Loch at the German capital city’s classical music shrine. Making this second appearance together were three of the most outstanding and established representatives of European jazz, each with a host of awards to their name. Możdżer, Rantala and Wollny are from a generation which mostly went through the rigours of classical study and therefore have a knowledge of that canon and tradition. Each of them has ventured from there into the freedom of jazz and have not just loved it but also thrived on it. They also grew up, almost inevitably, living and breathing rock and pop music. In other words, these are musicians who have garnered experiences in all genres and style and who simply ‘make music’ that transcends technical barriers and do it ‘in the spirit of jazz’, which puts them at one with the basic tenet of the ACT label.
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