Daydreams and soothing stories...in the Spirit of Jazz
"There's a place for us, somewhere a place for us. Peace and quiet and open air wait for us. Somewhere…". These words from the classic song from Leonard Bernstein's “West Side Story” set the tone for "Fahrt ins Blaue III - dreamin' in the Spirit of Jazz": this is uplifting music, to take the mind and the soul to a place of safety. The kind of quiet interlude in a day which is always restorative. Switch off and then switch back on – better focused. We find calm, intimacy, thoughtfulness here; the sixteen tracks in this compilation have a sense of flow, while also allowing the listener to wander off into all kinds of musical dream worlds....
From the very first spacious piano tones of Esbjörn Svensson’s "Ajar", one feels time standing blissfully still. This little gem, and the "e.s.t. Prelude" which follows it, is our entry point into the dreamy universe which will open itself up to us over the next 67 minutes. Youn Sun Nah's bittersweet "Lento", based on the music of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, gently emerges, seamlessly followed by Dusko Goykovich’s wonderfully warm and sad muted trumpet as he contemplates the falling of "Autumn Leaves" with Wolfgang Haffner's "Kind of Cool" ensemble. Then we hear singer/trombonist Nils Landgren, gentle almost to the point of weightlessness in "Somewhere". There is poetry and the originality in Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren’s Mare Nostrum Trio: we hear Swedish pianist Lundgren’s earworm-ish ballad “Aurore”. Lundgren also appears with his own quartet, with some hushed lyrical magic from Finnish saxophonist Jukka Perko in "No.9".
On "Fahrt ins Blaue III", Michael Wollny and Vincent Peirani show their astonishing kinship of spirit and their serendipitous ability to move together in their duetting on "The Kiss". Accordionist Peirani is also to be heard with Ricardo Esteve’s heart-rendingly lovely flamenco guitar and cellist Matthieu Saglio on the poignantly sad but uplifting and warmly Mediterranean "Bolero triste". We then hear the Wasserfuhr brothers transport us to New York's Brooklyn Bridge with a sweeping view of the shimmering Manhattan skyline at dusk with their relaxed grooving jazz ballad "Carlo".
For peace and inspiration, there’s a man and his guitar: Ulf Wakenius plays Keith Jarrett's "My Song". That is followed by the duo of Caecilie Norby and Lars Danielsson enchanting us with an intimate version of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah”. Two more singers take us to the world of cinema: Natalia Mateo sings Wojciech Młynarski's gorgeous lyrics to Krzysztof Komeda’s “Lullaby” from "Rosemary's Baby", starting in her native Polish, and drifting into utterly beautiful wordlessness; and Viktoria Tolstoy offers that most pensive and gentle of break-up songs, "Why Should I Care". from the Clint Eastwood film "True Crime", with some stupendous guitar work from Krister Jonsson.
And then there is an appearance by inimitable Norah Jones alongside guitarist Joel Harrison and saxophonist David Binney. She recorded a languid version of the country song "Tennessee Waltz" on ACT, on the album "Free Country", from the same era as her 27 million-seller "Come Away With Me". Pianist Jens Thomas and saxophonist Christof Lauer give us the quiet poise of “Green Dance”. This epilogue sums up the aesthetic of "Fahrt ins Blaue III": dreamlike music of beauty, tranquillity and calm – that it is well worth spending some time with.