At the height of his career, which is now more than forty years old, Kenny Werner is undoubtedly an icon of modern pianism, which, alongside the most important musicians of the late century, has contributed to the development of the contemporary language of Jazz. Equipped with great sensitivity and considerable instrumental achievement, Werner is able to combine rhythmic and harmonic experimentalisms with a view of European classical music.
But Werner is above all a narrative musician who knows how to identify musical paths in the course of his performances that are not self-evident, without losing sight of the overall design of the form in a particularly fascinating collaborative creation. The remarkable technical possibilities and the 3600 visions of jazz, as well as his ceaseless creative spirit, make Kenny Werner one of those musicians for whom styles never become stylistic features, but ultimately elements through which he can express his personal creative experience with originality.
After a few years of break, Werner has reformed his large trio, which has been active since the late 90s, which sees Joannes Weidenmüller, an extraordinary balanceist of rhythmic raids, on the double bass as a result of the sensitive relationship between Werner and drummer Ari Hoenig, a true master of the instrument.
The " effortless mastery " of the outstanding pianist and composer Kenny Werner shines on the prism of this "The Space", in piano solos, perfectly recorded by a German record company that should be kept in mind: the Pirouet. Born in Brooklyn (age group 51) Werner now has a long career on stages, leading various groups and working as a side man with Archie Shepp, Joe Lovano, Toots Thielemans, Mel Lewis, even Mingus and over the years showing a love and connection to the highest level of jazz, so much so that he distinguishes himself through different styles, from step to big bands, with a naturalness and authenticity.
I had the opportunity several times to listen to this artist live, always at the head of his faithful threesome (Joannes Weidenmüller Double Bass, Ari Hoenig Drums), and each time, often towards the end of the concert, at least one piece of piano was proposed alone, often a default, an intimate conversation with the instrument, immersed in the narrative of an always very personal, with ZEN and sunny self-observation.
This solitary work retains this approach and unfolds around the long piece of the same name (16 minutes) at the beginning, a composition that Werner considers to be the most important among the works composed so far, and which corresponds to a chapter of his famous book "Effortless Maestry", a kind of philosophical musical-spiritual guide that is at the same time a must for every improviser, and in "The Space" Werner's concept of space reveals itself in a broad introduction of individual notes arranged with naïve grace and a sudden change of atmosphere,
The rest of the record, well, it's pure enjoyment. He pays homage to himself, his much more famous colleague Keith Jarrett ("Encore from Tokyo"), he cautiously goes to the Evans "You Must Believe in Spring" (by Michel Legrand), returns to a popular level with intensity, as "If I Should Loose You" (Rainger/Robin) places an original (the adventurous "Fifth Sentence") and two songs by saxophonist and producer Jason Saizer, entirely based on his poetics ("Taro" and "Kiyoko"), before concluding the games with another of his k originals.
o. technically, the Ballade "Fall From Grace", which gracefully seals an important record that will surely find its place in the hearts of many Jazz-freaks.