One thing is for sure: If you are looking for one of the busiest and most sought after musicians in the country, you will soon stumble upon the name David Helbock. The now Berlin-based pianist from Vorarlberg is not only constantly on the go and touring the globe with his various bands and projects, he also always finds the time to work on new material. The new album “Aural Colours” (Traumton Records) of his band David Helbock Trio will be released this January and once again carries listeners off to exciting and unexpected jazz spheres.
The work of David Helbock can never be pinned to one specific style. No matter if solo, in a duo with Simon Frick or with his group Random/Control – the multiple award-winning pianist always succeeds in setting new musical standards. With his trio, together with his congenial partners Raphael Preuschl (electric and double bass) and Herbert Pirker (drums), the Vorarlberg musician once again embarks on a new and unconventional path. Compared to his last releases that were very abundant with extremely varied instrumentations, the new album “Aural Colours” is rather restrained and, as he himself says, “uncomplicated”.
In these new pieces the pianist and his fellow musicians artfully translate the term ‘jazz’ into something very lyrical. This experiment nearly falls under the scope of perception. The compositions and arrangements of David Helbock are very refined and sophisticated in its individual details, but ultimately work as a homogenous whole. Almost every tone, with the exception of isolated passages of improvisation, is deliberately set and every melody line is clearly defined.
And yet, although the tracks (including very interesting reworks of three Arnold Schoenberg pieces) follow precise rules, they convey a sense of spontaneity and lightness. Musically pending back and forth between energetic and nonchalant playfulness (“AM – Anonymous Monkaholics”, “Virus Ukulelen Song”) and captivating drama (“Into the Myths”, “Healing Colours”), the David Helbock Trio stages a very eventful and atmospheric sound theater, which will not only please the ears of declared jazz lovers.
David Helbock Concerts:
|22. Jul. 2023||Schulzendorf||Jazzsommer Schulzendorf||Germany|
Text: Michael Ternai (translated from German)
Photo: © Stefanie Marcus