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Helbock, mystical jazz

A new album from the great Austrian pianist...

By Mareile Heineke | Video of the Day | September 21, 2016

When it comes to eclecticism, David Helbock is a master! Nestling in the heart of his original compositions you can hear the Star Wars theme by John Williams, an excerpt from Beethoven's Seventh or a theme by Thad Jones, which makes for unusual company. But the Austrian pianist is well aware of the challenges of his time and of the implications of the repertory he chooses, as is shown by his new album, the aptly named Into The Mystic, released by ACT. "Musicians can't invent something entirely new. But what we can do is take ideas and put something of ourselves into them. Nowadays, jazz artists often use pop songs as a starting point. To be honest, it doesn't really matter what you revisit, be it pop, classic, world music or any other genre. What matters is what you do with it!" And what he does, with bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Reinhold Schmölzerest, is quite wonderful. At 32, Helbock (whose discography is as impressive as it is varied) has released an incredibly innovative album, with wildly inventive rhythms and daring improvisations. His lyrically controlled piano never forgets the need to focus on narration. Just as he never forgets his companions on the road, and their rhythmic accompaniment.

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