Pianist-composer Uli Geissendoerfer traverses through a myriad of textures on his latest release Colors going from the Latin flavored palette of “Tango” to the funky hooks of “3-41” and the swing-inspired improvisations trellising “Honey Pie” originally penned by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Geissendoerfer demonstrates his versatility as an intuitive composer and a dynamic pianist as he shapes melodic patterns into free flowing melodies which are both aesthetically attractive and challenging weaving complex arrangements into sonic figures that evolve naturally and freely.
The trickling dewdrops formed by his keys are the brick and mortar for “Intro” as the freestyle flutter of the horns pierce through the gossamer veil while the mink-like texture of Pascale Elia’s vocals meld into the ambient setting. The slow rolling swells of “Tango” are propped up by the sensual furls of Charles McNeal’s saxophone which transition into a throng of vigorous flashes through “3-41”. A collage of R&B infused patterns landscape “Soulful” as the rhythm section of Geissendoerfer’s piano, drummer Ryan Rose and bassist Derek Jones scamper with the loose-like scrolls of an uninhibited spirit.
The springy strides of the horns traipsing across “Song” produce a trestle-designed matrix which exhibit Geissendoerfer’s penchant for dynamic chord play as the flowery swirls of the horns spooling along “Norwegian Wood”, another track written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, bring out the complexity in the harmonic forms as Geissendoerfer layers brass tones with the rhythmic palpitations of the bass, drums and piano keys moving in accord.
The profusion of softly sprung strings and flouncing horns ambling through “Lily” and “Where” show Geissendoerfer’s tender side angling a romantic vibe to resonate in the keys. The album peaks with “Turkish” embossed in floating strings and middle eastern-toned accents emanating from the percussion instruments. The looping of serpentine strings creates a festive mood that draws the listener into the celebration.
Colors is a collaboration of world music templates with influences of jazz improvisations and pop-embellished motifs. Facets of R&B/soul, funk, swing, Latin-tinged orientations, and Middle Eastern themes are found in Uli Geissendoerfer’s compositions making for a colorful palette that’s both complex and harmoniously piped. Pascale’s vocals enhance the album’s melodic-bent giving the instrumentals an added dimension. The diversity of Colors combines the music of world cultures with the idioms of jazz improvisations making for an album that gives meaning to the term multi-faceted.
Uli Geissendoerfer – piano, Pascale Elia – vocals, Ryan Rose – drums, Charles McNeal – saxophone, Derek Jones – acoustic and electric bass; Special guests: Valeri Giava – violin, Michito Sanchez – percussion, Dafer Tawil – oud and tambourine
Intro, 3-41, Honey Pie, Tango, Intro to Soulful, Soulful, Lily, Norwegian Wood, Song, Turkish, Where