The recent release of Martin Gasselsberger’s CD is a definite delicacy in production and cooperative playing of mg3 , which along with easiness in his astoundingly mature pianistic expression, creates the clarity of a painted musical picture, which makes one sit up and listen and be impressed in the truest sense of the word.
Gasselsberger’s exclusively self-composed music is overflowing with refreshing intelligence, targeted taste and a stupendous instrumental skill in tone, melody and sound which places the listener directly into moments of thrilling attentiveness.
The northern Austrian pianist’s pieces don’t follow the transparency of current musical trends.
His work appears to be much more moderately classical and independently modern in its artistic beginnings and in his personal performances.
With this combination of the highest level of Jazz musical shapes with ‘as if sung’ melody bows and a balanced out, luxurious sound picture, he reaches a beauty in his music which instantaneously captivates even non-jazz listeners.
Martin Gasselsberger has with "2nd Move” mastered his existing Recording Output to produce this latest masterpiece of his musical imagination.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ review
It had to happen: the popularity of the Swedish piano trio E.S.T. is making its presence felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Canadian bassist Simon Fisk’s latest disc, Intent, demonstrates the same kind of pop sensibility, albeit with a freer complexion. Similarly, Austrian pianist Martin Gasselsberger and his group mg3’s new release, 2nd Move, can easily be lumped into E.S.T. territory. And while there is a clear precedence in Gasselsberger’s refined approach—relying on lyrical themes and improvisation over relatively simple vamps and changes—there are differences that make 2nd Move an entity unto itself.
If E.S.T. is the elegant alternative to the Bad Plus, then mg3 goes a step further. E.S.T. has always incorporated the use of electronics, while mg3 is unabashedly acoustic. E.S.T. is a collective—all three members of the group are credited with all compositions—while mg3 is clearly Gasselsberger’s show, even though bassist Roland Kramer and drummer Gerald Endstrasser are essential to the group sound. And, finally, mg3 never strays into aggressive tonalities or textures—2nd Move is, from start to finish, accessible and easy on the ears. While E.S.T.’s Dan Berglund is known to hit the distortion box and creating searing arco solos, mg3’s Kramer plays with a softer approach, always supportive and rarely stepping to the fore.
But Gasselsberger’s compositions do come from a similar place that is plainly European in ambience, with a playing style that is clearly rooted in Keith Jarrett, like that of E.S.T.’s Esbjörn Svensson. There’s little in the way of traditional swing to be found on the disc—although the relaxed groove of the 5/4 “Peace of Mind” has some of the lilt. If anything, there’s more of a light pop approach rhythmically, combined with a kind of pared-down classical impressionism.
But while mg3’s approach is light, it shouldn’t be mistaken for being lightweight. That mg3 should choose to take the delicacy and elegance of E.S.T. a step further, with a sound that has absolutely no sharp edges, simply makes even their uptempo tunes feel calm and at ease. “Revolution” and the blues of “Watch the children play” may be slightly funky, and the aptly-titled “Jarretty” may sound like something from Jarrett’s ‘70s European Quartet—but paradoxically more rigid in form, even as it is more relaxed in pace and intensity—but underneath it all mg3 aims for a consistent sing-song approach that makes the entire set highly approachable without sacrificing integrity.