Tingvall Trio, BIRDS Review
BIRDS by Tingvall Trio—A Melodic Flight Through An Exquisite Soundscape
In the realm of jazz, few phenomena manifest the genre’s ability to blend virtuosity, accessibility, and profound emotional communication as effectively as the Tingvall Trio. The ensemble’s latest album, BIRDS, serves as an exquisite culmination of 20 years of ceaseless artistic evolution and interplay. Leader Martin Tingvall, Cuban bassist Omar Rodriguez Calvo, and German drummer Jürgen Spiegel celebrate two decades of unaltered line-up—an enduring alliance that seems as organically composed as the nature to which the album pays homage.
Before delving into the musical details, it’s worth noting the album’s thematic backbone. Tingvall aptly describes birds as “musicians of nature,” a source of inspiration often overlooked in our noisy, cluttered lives. The album is a musical journey and an ecological statement—a delicate reminder to ‘stop, listen to nature, and act,’ particularly against the sobering backdrop of climate change and alternative energy affecting bird behavior.
Tingvall, who composed all the tracks, continues to maintain the appealing accessibility that makes his trio a gateway for those unfamiliar with jazz. Songs like “Woodpecker” and “Hummingbird” are striking for their melodic allure. “Woodpecker” features a rhythmic ostinato that closely mimics the bird’s iconic pecking pattern, grounding the piece in a thematic consistency that complements its musical dexterity. On “Hummingbird,” the melodies unfold with speed and vivacity—colors and spaces intertwining—as if encapsulating the bird’s rapid flight and the iridescence of its feathers.
“Africa” is a musical adventure with African rhythms and pentatonic scales, seamlessly incorporating Calvo’s Cuban bass grooves and Spiegel’s polyrhythmic prowess. It becomes an aural journey through continents, bound together by the trio’s unified vision.
“SOS,” a stark commentary on climate change, begins with Spiegel’s hauntingly chattering drums, Calvo’s whispering bass, and Tingvall’s dramatic piano sequences. It eventually blossoms into a theme that employs ascending harmonic patterns, representing perhaps an urgent call to ascend from our destructive paths.
Tracks like “The Day After” offer pensive moments, laced with melancholy and contemplation. Calvo’s bowed bass contributions bring forth not just a different sonic texture, but a deeper emotional gravitas. The track embodies a poignant ‘day after,’ a reflection on consequence and impermanence.
The album closes with “A Call for Peace,” a solo piano piece by Tingvall that serves as a meditative denouement, leaving listeners with a quiet space to ponder the journey they’ve been on.
Armed with a plethora of awards, chart-topping albums, and two decades of unified musical storytelling, Tingvall Trio soars above the crowded forest of jazz piano trios. Their latest album, BIRDS, is not merely a showcase of extraordinary musicality; it’s also a subtle invitation to attune ourselves to both their artistry and the ‘musicians of nature’ they celebrate.
Connect with Tingvall Trio: Website |
June 30, 2023