|Recorded in Copenhagen, August 2006. Danish import.
As is the case with other leading European pianists, Thomas Clausen would not mind to acknowledge the great importance of which especially Bill Evans has been to him. However, what is also remarkable is the high extent to which Clausen has intensified the personal expression of his playing. This has not been all cost free. There was a transitional period where his playing, at that time mainly based on chords, could seem too uptight.
The way it comes out on his new CD, however, the music is again delicately balanced with lines of single notes. And similarly Clausen has succeeded in redressing the balance between the impetus, which represents one side of his musical expression, and the calm necessary for the music to be in equilibrium.
The title of the CD is “Back To Basics”, Clausen having returned to a number of standards that here once again confirm their constancy. Tunes as Harold Arlen’s “That Old Black Magic”, Jerome Kern’s “Dearly Beloved”, and Thelonius Monk’s “Round Midnight”. Plus a couple of Clausen’s own compositions that brilliantly match this celebrated company.
This has become an outstanding release, on which especially Clausen’s exquisite artistry of harmonizing gives such strong unique character to the music. And to this is added the economy, the sense of also letting the rests speak that marks a great deal of the music. This is also very true of bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek, who performs a high-class response as an accompanist, and as a soloist shapes each note with thought. And similarly Karsten Bagge on drums understands to add both the right energy and finely varied coloring of sound in that interplay.