Already one of Germany’s most respected young jazz talents, Pablo Held’s (b. 1986) new album Elders will earn him even more veneration. Elders, appropriately titled, is centered on inspirational and influential figures from generations past who have served as role models for Held’s creativity, including his parents. Held adds alto flute, acoustic guitar and tenor saxophone to his trio formation and takes us on a trip through what is a stunning, musically mature album, overflowing with ideas.
The first track, “Morning Hour”, opens like a classical piece with Pablo Held playing a soft introduction on piano, later joined by flute, saxophone and tremolo acoustic guitar. Pablo revisits this this quasi-classical attitude on “Secreto”, based on a piece by the hardly known Catalan composer Frederic Mompou, and “Nana” originally by Manuel de Falla. The rest of the album includes four pieces inspired by his father Peter Held and one by Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell and Pablo Held himself each. Each track is unique. Some are upbeat and charming, others slow, subtle and heartfelt. Held’s ensemble displays crisp, synchronized movements and sensible melodic gestures that make each piece memorable for the listener.
Elders is harmonically innovative without going too far; it pushes the limits with reason while still emphasizing tonal jazz, freely executed but packaged in an accessible form. In this way it seems Pablo Held has transversed the artist-composer boundary. If you haven’t heard his previous four albums I suggest you start here and enjoy the blossoming artistry, wide-ranging creativity and superb jazz musicianship.
Elders is a CD that contains an atmosphere of musical warmth. It is also where Pablo Held emerges from the shadow of his musical background. Everything sounds fresh, inspired, and tight. Elders presents an exciting and colorful musical world to discover, with music that revels in its beauty and surprising variety˜all for the listener’s enjoyment. It reveals much of the past is hidden in the present˜and how the present can re-energize the past.
Pablo Held, piano
Pablo gained recognition with his own groups Pablo Held Trio and GLOW. He is also very active as a sideman in various projects in the European jazz scene.
Robert Landfermann, bass
Jonas Burgwinkel, drums
Jason Seizer, tenor saxophone
Jason Seizer is known for his uncompromising musical sincerity and his carefully considered play. He’s a quiet one. Someone who doesn’t make much to do about nothing.
Domenic Landolf, alto flute
Ronny Graupe, acoustic guitar
Ronny Graupe was born in 1979 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Germany. He was the winner of the state of Saxony’s “Jugend musiziert-Jugend jazzt” competition in 1997.