Rogier Telderman Trio ‘Contours’ (RM) 4/5

rogier-telderman-trioNine original compositions make up Dutch pianist Rogier Telderman’s debut recording with his trio. Featuring Guus Bakker on bass, and Tuur Moens on drums, the threesome have produced a very fine album indeed. “Contours” is awash with some excellent writing from Telderman, married with first rate performances from all involved. There is a quiet, untroubled beauty to this album, with the pianist creating melodic and lyrical themes that gently twist and turn their way throughout the recording. Telderman is a storyteller at heart, and it is with a romantic, emotive bent that he spins these nine mesmerising tales for the trio to perform.
My initial thoughts as “Goodbye Monsieur Belkin” begins the album, are that Telderman has that same clarity and melodic simplicity as Brad Mehldau. There is a touching minimalism to this tune, a focus that is clear throughout the entire album. Thoughtful, lovely chord sequences stir the emotions as the song builds – somewhat EST style – allowing for the coherent trio to explore the feel of the tune itself. One could say that these are mood pieces, and the trio might have a solid jazz ethic at its core, but there are certainly a mixture of influences shining through, from classical to ambient to rock. “Minor Conspiracy” is built upon a great bass line from Bakker, with Telderman adding a light and deft touch with the uplifting melody. There’s nothing “out there” and there’s no pushing of musical boundaries here, but as on tracks like “Sketch” and “Strange Place” it is the lyrical beauty which grabs hold of the listener – gently at first – then more tightly as the interplay between the trio works it’s magic. “Song for AC” is more straight ahead jazz, with Moens on top form on the kit. As the album develops with more and more intelligently played themes, Telderman proves himself to be an incisive teller of tales. On “Slippers” there is a sense of strength and purpose that lifts the music to a high level, and the closing track “Waltz” will have a place in my heart for some time to come.

A very good debut from a very promising trio, “Contours” was released earlier this year and the trio have spent much of 2015 touring the Netherlands and Europe. Between April and May 2016 the trio will embark on a Nationwide tour, for which Telderman has been composing new tunes. Their live sound is said to be more raw and open – allowing the trio to explore the tunes in more depth. One to look out for next year.

Mike Gates