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Haberkamp, Potratz & Vespestad: Plateaux

Haberkamp, Potratz & Vespestad: Plateaux

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It's flawless... it's fearless... I don't know how it gets better than this. It might appear off-the-wall, but Taylor Swift's words to describe a first kiss are also a summation of the new album by Clara Haberkamp, the wonderful German jazz pianist... who just happens to have been born in the same month of the same year as Swift: December 1989. And maybe there is something more than just a simple coincidence of month of birth going on here. As Haberkamp says: "I have changed. My role models these days are women, in music and elsewhere, who combine strength and self-determination with compassion and receptiveness." These reflections don't just feed into her own continuing development and her rising profile on the European music scene, they are also a defining part of the way she plays and leads her trio. Downbeat critic Josef Woodard has called Haberkamp "a commanding presence" and anyone listening to this album, or watching the trio in action live or on video will instantly hear and see how all that works, why it functions so well, and in so many ways and stylistic directions. She chooses to work with strong, infinitely subtle, top-flight players from a slightly older generation: bassist Oliver Potratz is one of the most in-demand players of the instrument in Germany; Jarle Vespestad's vast experience includes several years with both Farmers Market and Tord Gustavsen's trio. Each of them has made the best part of 100 albums. And yet it is the phenomenally adept pianist who is clearly the one in charge, shaping the music in it's many forms, throwing out the rhythmic and harmonicchallenges to her skilful and wise colleagues. This music has everything from the knottiest of counterpoint ("Collage"), achingly intense lyricism ("Enfold me like a poem"), the quiet and reflective ("On a Park Bench"), idealised dreamscape ("Fantasmes") to moments when she brings the music back to simple, heartfelt forms of expression which cannot fail to reach every heart ("If you could read my mind"). And there can be very few singer/pianists since Shirley Horn who have reached the degree of interdependence of piano and voice that Haberkamp brings to her hauntingly reharmonized "Danny Boy", a welcome return to singing for just one track on the album. The album title "Plateaux" comes from a 1980 book whose authors found every way they could to observe and encourage the dismantling of traditional power structures and hierarchies: "Mille Plateaux" by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Felix Guattari, both of whom died in the 1990s. The world has moved on since those days, and to witness Haberkamp at the helm of her trio is to understand that there are many better ways to invent and to communicate. How natural, how totally at ease with herself at the piano and in her role as leader she is. It allows her to stand out in the crowded field of piano trios as very special, or "souveran" as the Germans say. The vast armies of Taylor Swift admirers bring sackfuls of glitter and hair accessories to her concerts. All that an admirer of Clara Haberkamp needs to bring is an open mind, ear, and heart. All three will be copiously rewarded by an artist who is increasingly, definably, defiantly, remarkably, herself.
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Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 05, 2024

  • UPC: 4250702801849

  • Catalog Number: TXA24184

  • Label: Tyxart

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Clara Haberkamp, Oliver Potratz, Jarle Vespestad, Traditional

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Clara Haberkamp Trio

  • Performer: Clara Haberkamp, Oliver Potratz, Jarle Vespestad, Clara Haberkamp, Friedrich H