Melody to harmony to rhythm
Alex Wignall’s sense of melody can already be clearly heard on his previous album: “Solitude” focused on ballads from the standard repertoire of jazz, and the heart of a ballad is undoubtedly its melody, which is then freely and imaginativey harmonized and orchestrated. On his trio album “Waiting For August” Alex Wignall now also shows his great rhythmic versatility. Together with his excellent trio musicians André Nendza on double bass and Joshua Roberts on drums, he moves powerfully and dynamically through five original compositions and two new interpretations of pieces from the synth-pop area (“Twice” by Little Dragon) and from film music (“Chim Chim Cheree” from the film Mary Poppins). You meet a trio that is open to many musical directions and has found its own clear language: exciting, virtuoso and colourful without getting lost in cryptic allusions.
Already in the first seconds of “Waiting for August” it becomes clear that Alex Wignall is a highly virtuoso pianist who is at eyelevel with classical pianists in terms off luency and sensitive control of touch. The interaction of the trio – characterized in particular by a close rhythmic interlocking and jointly created arcs of tension – is also virtuoso. The compositions are highly memorable and invite you to listento them several times. Very poetic, sparingly orchestrated moments contrast pleasantly with complex rhythmic patterns and expressive solos over evermore intense vamps.
Another special highlight of the album is that it allows you to experience how close speech and music are. Alex Wignall transcribed the speech melody from an interview with jazz trombonist David Baker before arranging it for his trio and playing in sync. The content of the interview is also deepened in a musical way, as the trio transforms language fluently into music: The groovy final loop “melody to harmony to rhythm” even becomes, in a certain way, “language to melody to harmony to rhythm”.
The sum of this album is greater than its individual parts. The upbeat mood, the fresh ideas and the self-confident calmness of the musician Alex Wignall, who carefully penetrates deeper and deeper into the secrets of music, creates an interplay of melody, harmony and rhythm that culminates in really good music.