Advertisement
Advertisement

Marie Kruttli Trio: The Kind Of Happy One

In brief:
"Establishing the equivalence of its three members has been the way forward for the jazz piano trio from Bill Evans on. Recognising their different cultural backgrounds, as Swiss pianist Marie Kruttli claims to do on this album, is something new"

Establishing the equivalence of its three members has been the way forward for the jazz piano trio from Bill Evans on. Recognising their different cultural backgrounds, as Swiss pianist Marie Kruttli claims to do on this album, is something new – well, whatever culturally separates Kruttli and her drummer Jonathan Barber, with whom she’s recording for the first time.

New Yorker Barber is a link with the Big Apple for Kruttli, whose academic training in Lausanne and Lucerne was followed by a sojourn in America. She overdoes the connection if only because the listener expects more than Barber delivers in terms of what she describes as his “soulful way of playing the drums”. He plays them well enough, but soul in jazz drumming is an imponderable, never more so than here. There’s a lot about the transaction of “souls” and “physical energies” in Kruttli’s accompanying notes.

Advertisement

It’s the regular bassist Lukas Traxel who seems not only more in tune with Kruttli’s style as performer and composer but also smarter at anticipating what she’ll do next. The excitement of her playing lies in its restlessness and unpredictability. When not brooding or introspective, it is edgy and often heavily insistent.

Who would have expected the raindrop intro of Poppy Seed to shift to crescendo mode in which the light initial randomness has become regularised by her colleagues? Sad Song is more self-dramatising than wistful, and the ostinato/riff of Lichthaus skips along until a final, and unexpected, trading episode between piano-bass and drums.

Kruttli’s edginess is sometimes associated with the inventive freedom she reserves for herself. In Back To Blue, bass and drums lay down an inviting beat but Kruttli is having no truck with it until the end when all come together. It’s the same in Buried Giant, the querulous piano trailed by bass and drums in pursuit of a settling tempo. The equivalence in this trio relates to the tension each member accepts as part of its modus operandi, which itself hinges on the leader’s wide-ranging pianism. There’s physical energy and interaction aplenty, but not Soul with a capital S as one normally understands or recognises it.

Discography
Back To Blue; Buried Giant; Lichthaus; L’Intrépide; Sad Song; The Kind Of Happy One; I Hate To Be Taken As A Stupid Person; Poppy Seed (51.55)
Kruttli (p); Lukas Traxel (b); Jonathan Barber (d). Switzerland, September 2018.
QFTF 161

Latest audio reviews

Advertisement

More from this author

Advertisement

Jazz Journal articles by month

Advertisement

Karrin Allyson: A Kiss For Brazil

Singer who has covered Coltrane, Joni Mitchell and Rodgers & Hammerstein turns her full attention to the bossa nova
Advertisement

Still Clinging To The Wreckage 06/21, part 2

As a child Barney Bigard had at first resisted his family's attempts to point him to a career in music, choosing on his own...
Advertisement

Aaron Liddard: A hybrid of myriad sources

The London-based saxophonist is a well versed in musical philosophy, draws on numerous genres and hopes to offer something new to jazz
Advertisement

The Miles Davis Reader

This book is indispensible to Miles Davis collectors and to anyone with an interest in the trumpeter. It is cheaply priced for such a significant...
Advertisement

Thelonious Monk Quartet: Live

I saw Monk in concert three times: first with his quartet at Jazz Expo 69, then with the Giants of Jazz in 1971 and...
Advertisement

JJ 08/79: Bengt Hallberg – Egenhändigt. Hallberg / Karin Krog – A Song For You

Two more excellent Swedish albums to jolt the British jazz fraternity out of their feeling of security. Hallberg, of course, has an unimpeachable pedigree....
"Establishing the equivalence of its three members has been the way forward for the jazz piano trio from Bill Evans on. Recognising their different cultural backgrounds, as Swiss pianist Marie Kruttli claims to do on this album, is something new"Marie Kruttli Trio: The Kind Of Happy One