Kasper Villaume is a young Danish pianist with an excellent sense of timing, rhythm, and compositional abilities. His sound is reminicent of some of the great pianists from the 1960's. Surrounding himself with an excellent supporting cast of musicians, Villaume is able to let loose and do what he does best and that is play piano.
Tricky gymnastics aside, Bubbles
is a mature composition with a strong rhythmic drive and melodic sense. Moller's invigorating tenor solo adds weight and dimension to this Villaume original. With a catchy melody and fun like atmosphere, Villaume sails throughout, displaying flexibility and dexterity sorely missing from many young pianists today.
The quartet launches into Chick Corea's Quartet # 2
with fervor and sparkle. Moller's feverish solo ignites with so much power that you wonder how the rest of the band can top this. But top it they do. Villaume's piano sounds like a man possessed. Building from a tentative yet focused base, he swings into a whirlwind of sound that is all encompassing.
Many years ago, Oscar Levant wrote a beautiful melody called Blame It On My Youth
. Villaume's reading is both poignant and relaxed. With a light rounded touch, he hesitates like the character in this classic standard. The tempo is never rushed. Like the pro that he is, Villaume knows what it takes to carefully render a ballad into a memorable statement.The Speedmaster
is an original from Villaume. The quartet has an opportunity to contribute to some enticing lines and phrases. Bodilsen's rounded and insightful playing as well as drummer Morten Lund crisp execution weigh in heavily, making the whole affair a success.
Mack Gordon's I Wish I Knew
, is a perfect vehicle for Moller's warm tenor. Villaume and the rest of the band offer a delicate and smoky cushion for Moller to ride on. Graceful cymbal work from Lund and dreamy lines from Bodilsen, create an unforgettable hypnotic state.
The Kasper Villaume Quartet is a solid unit from beginning to end. With an eagerness to explore within their own framework, Villaume and crew offer up a tasty, mature sounding recording full of surprises and memorable moments.