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Distant Light

Distant Light

Benjamin Schatz

Label: Double Moon Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917109221
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Catalog number: DMCHR 71092
Releasedate: 03-06-11
"Distant Light" is an impressive debut of a young jazz piano player. Sound, compositions, arrangements, and improvisations are on an outstanding level - we will hear again of benjamin schatz in the future.
- Benjamin Schatz was chosen to be part of the prestigious series "Jazz thing Next Generation"
- Even as a young artist he already presents an impressive list of awards
- his sidemen are established european jazz musicians, glad to accompany the "young lion"
- Martin Pearson, sound engineer of Keith Jarrett´s recordings since more than a decade, is responsible for the sound of "Distant Light"
Subdued dabs of sound like light in the distance float in the room when Benjamin Schatz opens his debut album. The soft sounds dominate, and the art of omission makes you sit up and take notice. The complete album swings as light as a feather, has peaceful, melancholic phases, indulges in weird beats, and fortunately is miles away from the Muzak jazz of a piano bar despite the catchiness of the melodies. Asked about his influences, Benjamin cannot stop counting. Among others, his list includes J.S. Bach, Keith Jarrett, Richie Beirach, D. Shostakovich, A. Bruckner, G. Ligeti, Radiohead, Michael Jackson, Fred Hersch, Mulgrew Miller, Art Tatum, S. Rachmaninov, S. Prokofiev, Ivo Pogorelich, Glenn Gould, etc. Schatz is sufficiently modest to know and name his role models. However, he is also sufficiently self-confident not to be overawed by them, but instead goes his own straight path with a lightness and composure, which is expressed completely on this CD. It should also be mentioned here that the sound engineer for "Distant Light" is Martin Pearson. Pearson has worked on innumerable live recordings of Keith Jarrett for ECM since 1999. Consequently, everything in this work is an optimal success with respect to sound. And when Richie Beirach writes the liner notes as here, a successful work of music is also to be expected. "Distant Light" is a ray of hope. And this ray of hope is called Benjamin Schatz.   
The thirty-year-old Benjamin Schatz has already been a musician for twenty-six years. He started playing violin when he was four and added piano 24 months later. He then also studied this instrument at college. He first studied classical piano in Trossingen and Los Angeles, where he won the "Concerto Competition California State University Long Beach" in 2004. Back in Germany, he studied jazz piano under Richie Beirach at Leipzig Music College. He graduated with an A+ average in the summer 2008 and then enrolled at the Vienna Conservatory in a Master's degree course for jazz piano and jazz composition.
Pepe Berns on bass and Heinrich Köbberling on drums are the rhythm group. Both are internationally established musicians, who often accompany international stars from Benny Golson to Bob Mintzer (Berns) and from Ernie Watts to Julia Hülsmann (Köbberling) in addition to their teaching duties. Johannes Enders supports the trio in the second part of the CD and expands the range of sounds with his powerful voice. He can also come up with an impressive "played-with" list (currently in the Billy Hart Trio). All three are professors at Leipzig Music College, who think so highly of their former student Benjamin Schatz that they were only too glad to accompany him and give it all they have on his first CD.