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"Moods and Modes"DVD PanRec 2011


The New York City Jazz Record May 2012

One thing that the music of trombonist Nils Wogram and pianist Simon Nabatov’s duo on „Moods and Modes“ demonstrates ist he extent to which classical and jazz approaches have been merged among many players of this generation, especially Europeans. Where early „Third Stream“ experiments often felt like attempts by trained musicians to graft some classical elements onto the body of jazz, an understanding of both traditions informs every aspect of the music here. Both can breeze through lines that would leave lesser musicians gasping for air and on pieces like Wogram’s opening title track, the effect is dazzling. Taken at a very bright 15/8 tempo, this tune sets the tone, with the two instruments moving through its unobvious harmonic structure not only confidently, but brashly. On most pieces, the focus remains on lines that shift around a lot harmonically with a lot of quick darting about melodically. The nearly unrelenting nature of this could get wearing were it not fort he dynamic range employed and the fact that the program is broken up with several ballad-type numbers like Nabatov’s „Assuming“, which evokes some oft he more song-like melodies of Herbie Nichols.

Dan Baker

Le Son du Grisli France 2013

Faisant suite à Jazz Limbo (Leo Records / 2007) et Nawora (Leo Records / 2012), voici Moods and Modes, captation vidéo du duo Nils Wogram-Simon Nabatov. En noir et blanc et dans la solitude d’un studio de la radio zurichoise, tromboniste et pianiste engagent quelques sages courses-poursuites. Sans être décoiffant – mais néanmoins décomplexés –, ils n’ont aucune peine à faire se partager leurs lyrismes. Il y a de suaves mélodies, des dissonances caressées – mais vite abandonnées –, des saveurs partagées... Empruntant à la délicatesse quelques traits puis lessivant le chaos, ils chassent et cueillent sur des terres amies, fécondes. Et toujours, s’inscrivent en une complicité effrontément palpable.

Luc Bouquet