Maria Kannegaard: Bits





Camel Walk (Jazzland)

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Maria Kannegaard (piano), Ole Morten Vågan (bass), Thomas Strønen (drums).

Composed by Maria Kannegaard


Recorded: Oslo, January 8-10, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

This top-notch European release is now available in the U.S. at a reasonable price. Jazz gods be praised! Maria Kannegaard is a focused and creative pianist who deserves a wide hearing. "Bits" is appropriately named. It starts in a pointillistic mood, with bits of piano shrapnel flying in various directions, while the arco bass lurches back and forth trying to avoid a direct hit. Midway through the performance, Kannegaard toys with a repetitive vamp, only to subvert it with sudden outbursts of . . . silence. The conclusion is all sunlight and rapture, as the pianist lets loose rich tremolos and orchestral colors. At no point does she rely on the clichéd or familiar. So much here is unexpected, yet it all feels so right. Don't be put off by the strange CD cover—which makes the trio look like a crazed group of assembly-line workers. This is some deep jazz indeed.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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