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- 2Lumi I05:09
- 4Lumi II03:24
- 6Adaption I03:07
- 7Adaption II05:55
- 8Partly Clouded05:14
Info for Absence
Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu makes his ECM debut with a striking album of his own rigorous-yet-lyrical music, sensitively played by a trio formed especially for this recording, with US guitarist Ben Monder and Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari.
As an improviser of prodigious technique, once described by Herbie Hancock as "a dazzling piano player", Randalu's affinities are with the jazz musicians, but the forms and dynamics of his pieces also reflect a discerning sense of structure, and he has cited Estonian composers Erkki-Sven Tüür and Tõnu Kõrvits - both with albums of their music on ECM New Series - amongst his mentors.
"Absence" was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in the south of France in July 2017 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Kristjan Randalu, piano
Ben Monder, electric guitar
Markku Ounaskari, drums
Born in Estonia in 1978 he moved with his family to Germany as a child where the piano became increasingly important to him. His teachers there included John Taylor in Cologne, followed by a time at the Royal Academy of Music in London (with Django Bates) and a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
His musical partners have included Dave Liebman, Ari Hoenig, Nguyên Lê, Ben Monder, Nils Petter Molvaer, Dhafer Youssef, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Hall, the Berlin Konzerthaus, at festivals in London, Paris, Madrid and Istanbul, and toured in the United States and Canada, across Europe and in Turkey, Korea, Australia and Israel.
He exudes an uncompromising determination to pursue the heart of musical expression through his sublime technique yet he is no flamboyant showman. Audiences are captivated by his warmth, his passion for music and his quietly confident and honest personality. His awards include the 2007 Jazz Award of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the 2011 Elion Jazz Award and the 2014 Music Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. His numerous recordings as both soloist and collaborator include a Grammy nomination in 2006 and Jazz Album of the Year at the 2012 Estonian Music Awards.