This live gig from the Martin Sasse Trio was recorded in June 2009 and the conceit is that the programme is all-European. In his notes Sasse modestly avoids mentioning that one of the tracks is his own Metronome, but other Euro composers include such well known names as English saxophonist Iain Bellamy and the French guitarist Serge Lazarevitch, amongst others. The nationality of each composer is proudly noted in the booklet, so fans of such things can ponder the implications of such a line-up.
The Sasse trio is an articulate, tight knit group, and its bop stylings are well deployed in this set. It's as good in the straight ahead Bellamy Mode forbode as it is in Lazarevitch's warmly lyrical chanson, Quand Laura me tend ses bras, with its echoes of Keith Jarrett in My Back Pages mode. Roman Schwaller, the Swiss saxophonist, contributes Ballad pour Pipette which, once again, calls for a degree of introspection and phrasal warmth, both of which are duly provided, not least in the reflective bass solo from John Goldsby, the American who sneaks in via German residence to contribute Sergio - complete with a long solo for himself, a vibrant Latino feel, and suitably eclectic drum breaks.
King Kombo is an appealingly swinging theme from the pen of Belgian trumpeter Bert Joris. The angular I've got another rhythm was written by another trumpeter, this time Denmark's Alan Botschinsky and it includes an opportunity for drummer Hendrik Smock to parade his wares, and so too the leader via a propulsively swinging solo, and Goldsby's arco solo. Not everything really sticks in the mind; Paul Heller's Close Encounters isn't much of an encounter at all, but Sasse's own piece is a fine example of his creativity, with possibly a hint or two of Horace Silver.
This live set was well recorded and well appreciated by the audience. It's one for trio lovers interested in unusual repertoire.
Martin Sasse - piano
John Goldsby - bass
Hendrik Smock - drums
01. Mode Forbode (arr. M. Sasse) 4:57
02. Quand Laura … me tend ses bras (arr. M. Sasse) 5:24
03. More than Ever (arr. M. Sasse) 4:54
04. Ballad pour Pipette (arr. M. Sasse) 6:15
05. King Kombo (arr. M. Sasse) 5:17
06. I've Got Another Rhythm (arr. M. Sasse) 8:08
07. Sergio (arr. M. Sasse) 9:00
08. Close Encounters (arr. M. Sasse) 4:55
09. Metronome 6:04
10. Here Comes the Sun (arr. M. Sasse) 6:59
Rec. 7 June 2009, live at Telos Akademia, Mechernich-Floisdorf