Thursday 13 November 2014

Benjamin Herman Finds Talent Instead Of Trouble

Besides being a very good musician, Benjamin Herman apparently also has a keen nose for talent. He asked the young talented piano player Daniel Piekartz to record an album with his trio and persuaded him to sing as well. It resulted in the wonderful album Trouble earlier this year, with songs that remind of Chet Baker and other jazz singers of the past. The quartet is now doing a short tour in support of the album.

Benjamin Herman Trio & Daniel Von Piekartz at Bimhuis Amsterdam, November 9 2014

You would think that maybe Von Piekartz is too impressed by the other three experienced musicians, but either that is not the case or he's good at hiding it. The young pianist looks quite relaxed and is even joking around with the others. Benjamin Herman is announcing the songs they are playing most of the times, but sometimes Von Piekartz is doing it instead, in a loose and enthusiastic way. It turns the performance into a lot of fun, combined with some great music of course.

Because in the end, these are four very skilled musicians that make it look so easy. Even though this is a jazz show, we get to hear a bluesy J.J. Cale song 'You Got Me On So Bad' and a funky and soulful Sly Stone composition 'Wishful Thinkin'', one of Von Piekartz inspritations. Another song, 'Walking In Jesus Name', that Sly Stone performed at the age of nine, gets a bit of a make-over into 'Walking In My Baby's Name' with lots of gospel. It show cases the versatile voice of Von Piekartz, who also gives a fitting and beautiful performance of 'Lilac Wine' that is full of tension.

The other three are looking at him and each other in a content way. It has to be a pleasure to work with a talent like that, maybe reminding them of when they were that age, for the first time performing at the legendary Bimhuis. As Herman notes, they are past the danger zone themselves now, with all its pitfalls. They have made it, which is clearly showing tonight with inspiring solos, tight playing and virtuosity. I can only watch in awe at Herman's dazzling sax playing, Joost Patočka's smashing drumming and Ernst Glerum's groovy bass. Von Piekartz is a lucky guy that he is able to work with this trio.

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