Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Bruce Lindsay
Michael Wollny's sleeve notes for Wasted & Wanted are emphatic: "MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN RULES. This is Jazz." Back in the day, this German piano trio used to be plain old [em]. Some re-branding has taken place, and now it's Michael Wollny's [em]. According to Wollny, the change is intended to help people who have been confused by the name [em], and to follow the well-worn tradition of naming a piano trio after the pianist. Hmm. Rather a strange approach, given the dogmatic statement about rules.
But what, as someone once wrote, is in a name? The piano trio is still a piano trio (albeit with a spinet and a melodica thrown in), and Michael Wollny's [em] is one of the most imaginative and exciting piano trios currently extant. On Wasted & Wanted, its fifth album, the group translates the on-stage excitement of [em] live (ACT Records, 2010) to this set of studio recordings with apparent ease.
Although Wollny's name is now integral to the band's identity, in terms of performance and composition, this is still a seemingly democratic ensemble. The pianist contributes three tunes, as does percussionist Eric Schaefer, while Eva Kruse gets two writing credits. Instrumentally, the band still functions predominantly as three equal parts, with Kruse's bass and Schaefer's percussion contributing as much to the overall sound as Wollny's keyboards. A new departure for the band is the engagement of a producer, Guy Sternberg, who also shares credit for arrangements with the musicians. ... read more...
Personnel: Michael Wollny (piano); Eric Schaefer (melodica, drums); Eva Kruse (glockenspiel).
Audio Mixer: Guy Sternberg.
Liner Note Author: Michael Wollny.
Recording information: FWL Studios, Leipzig (08/2011); Hansa Studios, Berlin (08/2011); Haus Der Berliner, Festspiele (08/2011); FWL Studios, Leipzig (11/04/2011); Hansa Studios, Berlin (11/04/2011); Haus Der Berliner, Festspiele (11/04/2011); FWL Studios, Leipzig (11/2011); Hansa Studios, Berlin (11/2011); Haus Der Berliner, Festspiele (11/2011).
Photographer: Joerg Grosse-Geldermann.
Arrangers: Michael Wollny; Eva Kruse; Guy Sternberg; Eric Schaefer.
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