Opening shimmeringly with ‘Cameo’, the title a clue to the appearance later in the track of guitarist John Scofield this is a live recording from Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall made at the end of January.
The 27-year-old German pianist Pablo Held has been rising to the top of the European jazz piano firmament in recent years and no wonder hearing his big technique, a stylish Herbie Hancock-like comping to Scofield at the beginning of the album matching the eloquence of his solo runs dotted about the five mostly quite long but absorbing tracks.
Tunes are split between Held and Scofield with a version of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Marcie’ the clincher, Scofield sinuously inching the melody along. Bassist Robert Landfermann and drummer Jonas Burgwinkel easily rise to the challenge of Held’s vaulting solo lines and Scofield’s harmonic bravado and flashes of passion. A serious but rewarding listen. SG