The Japanese term “Natsukashii” describes how intense memories can suddenly be triggered by something trivial. Norwegian pianist Helge Lien has dedicated his Helge Lien - Natsukashii to these moments, when reality is replaced by reverie and a simple chord can reveal innermost secrets. Lien embraces the acoustic jazz piano trio format made famous and successful over the years by a wide variety of acoustic jazz pianists ranging from Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson to Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett; and it also works well for Lien, who favors a clean-sounding post-bop pianism mixed with a crystalline melody approach. There are no standards at all on this recording thus Lien’s thoughtful original compositions offer an attractive blend of intellect and melodic lyricism while giving Lien's improvisations a more personal quality. This album is outstanding, relaxing, lyrical, dreamy and stimulating as well as rhythmically charged. This is a solid outing that showcases Lien's talents as a pianist and as a composer and at the same time it portrays the trio experience as a symbiosis of togetherness. Helge Lien - Natsukashii offers the same receptivity and appeal to a wide variety of music lovers enjoyed by the league of leading contemporary trios and Lien’s older peers. It truly offers exciting new soundscapes. The Trio: Helge Lien on piano, Frode Berg on upright bass and Knut Aalefjær on drums. This production was beautifully recorded, mixed and mastered by Jan Erik Kongshaug of ECM fame. Thanks to Alex Henderson and Gudrun Endress for their contribution to this write up.
Buy it from Ozella Records