Clara Haberkamp Trio: Orange Blossom: Release Information
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Release Date: 30.09.2016
TT Catalogue No: 4634
Clara Haberkamp Trio
Music and life. Art, no matter in which form, is always most authentic when it reflects life. Not only a certain aspect of life, but rather life with its enticing but equally merciless and often quite paradox diversity. The young Berlin based pianist Clara Haberkamp is alive. This sounds so basic and trivial, that it actually shouldn’t be mentioned here at all. But for Clara Haberkamp there is no separation between her life and music. She doesn’t postulate the proverbial “living for her music” and doesn’t play music to live, but life and music are simply one to her, and the new CD makes this very clear.
Clara Haberkamp hasn’t been on the scene very long. Although she has made an illustrious name for herself with her trio over the last years, it is not wrong to count her to the youngest generation of German and European jazz musicians. Nonetheless, the term “up-and-coming” would be entirely out of place: for that she has acquired a much too independent, distinctive voice as a pianist and singer, but also as a bandleader and composer. In every piece that she composes and interprets, she finds very clear answers to the question, what each particular song needs. Like a house plant that doesn’t only require light, water and fertilizer to grow, but should also be positioned correctly within the room and among the other plants to take full effect, she equips each song with everything that makes it an unmistakable experience in itself, but also among the other songs on the album.
For the young pianist, living is not just a synonym for vitality. She continually confronts herself and on Orange Blossom she grants all aspects of her life access to her world of sound, much more consequently than on her previous CDs. Instead of following a leading theme or some concept that predefines parameters from the first note on, she builds on the logic of everyday life, which defies all calculability. Even within one song she can take extremely contrary positions without a resulting contradiction and involves the listener in this experience with impressive ruthlessness. There are the light, hopeful moments, which just evolve without any question. There are also timid and fearful states, which are pensive and entangled in themselves, obstacles that build up, only to move themselves out of the way again as per law of conservation of energy. And there are flashes of brutal directness, which mostly befall the listener completely unannounced.
Clara Haberkamp didn’t only compose all the pieces (solely “Orchestra” is based on Walt Whitman), she also unfurls herself in the music with all the power of her imagination. Still, Orange Blossom is not a solo album but much rather a trio record. She has been in close musical partnership with drummer Tilo Weber for a long time. His unobtrusive drum soundscapes carry the playing of the pianist, so that she can grope her way into every imaginable direction and explore unknown territory. Weber has the rare gift of being very vehement even when you cannot hear him. He builds invisible bridges, creates suspense through omission and emphasizes through tasteful understatement. The new guy on board is bassist Dan Peter Sundland, whose electric bass quite often seems like an acoustic bass. He springs forward, just to withdraw himself again in the next instant and plays unexpected counterpoints.
Actually counterpoint seems to be the heading under which the whole album stands. Not only the musical counterpoint, which is also present of course, but also the counterpoint of life. Clara Haberkamp takes full risk, stands firm on both feet, and then again deliberately chooses the very thin ice a song later. Improvisation is indispensable to her, not only in intros, collective free playing or soloistic excursions, but first and foremost in the spontaneous shaping of every nuance.
More than ever before on a Clara Haberkamp album, the singing comes into the foreground on Orange Blossom and thereby she also embraces very diverse sounds. Her voice can linger dreamily on the melody, but can also vigorously take the offensive. Sometimes she is the root or the trunk, but often enough the leaf or blossom, and sometimes also the insect that carries and spreads the pollen. Even more so than the keystrokes of the piano, the vocal instant ranges between remembrance and foreboding. As beautiful as the orange blossom may be, it is only a temporary state between creation and completion. What remains is the memory of its splendor and in the end the fulfillment in the fruit. Every note is given enough time and space to emerge and to fade away in itself. Clara Haberkamp’s confident and equally poetic approach to perishability of the moment makes this CD such a strong and matchless statement.