Flora Fauna #umcd0008 07 Jun 2008

Jon Birkholz Trio

Jon Birkholz piano, computer
Michael Formanek double bass
Devin Gray drums


Pianist Jon Birkholz, zooms right into an unexpected extended intro on the first track on this, his first, recording. The Piano melts into melody, then improvisation. Jon plays lethargically in semi-Latin melancholy flow, relaxing the listener. I like his approach, because his thought pattern is very logical.
The strong, unexpected counterpunctual octave intervals played between bass and piano on the second track, shows off the young composer’s versatility.
A new sudden computed sounds adds excitement on the third track. I like the trio’s breathing and spacing. The ensemble moves through a tangled hip rhythm. This bind is not broken until the ensemble hits a walking stride and swings out with tasteful punctuating from the drummer. Devin Gray exudes sensitivity and warmth throughout the piece.
Veteran bassist Michael Formanek lets his masterful arco style talk the laptop computer into a friendly relationship while the pianist sprinkles light color in the upper register. They swing softly on a contemporary Latin vamp. Birkholz talks serious with rhythm, then becomes playful, accelerating on scattered scales.
Flora Fauna is a strong statement from a new interesting, innovative contemporary jazz pianist.

-Dave Burrell, Philadelphia, July 31, 2007

tracks :

1. Improv One
2. Eli Levisho
3. Improv Five
4. Flora Fauna
5. Improv Four
6. Asphalt River
7. Improv Six
8. Skittish

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