Rainer Böhm: Hýdor (piano works XII)

review rainer böhm x1 cong

It’s taken some time to review this very pleasant CD. Though it’s on jazz label ACT, it’s only nominally jazz and the only instrument is the piano.

Opener Bass Study (Part I) is one of the more jazz-like tracks before Böhm goes more classical but, like the rest of the album, it’s gentle and relaxed — it’s end-of-a-hard-day music. Good if you like jazz or classical, bad if you need to motivate yourself to write a review.

The internet says hýdor is ancient Greek and means “water,” and presumably Böhm picked the title as the music is fluid, and flows between jazz and classical. We’re not sure how much is improvised, so maybe there’s a fluid reference in there, too.

Bass Study (Part I) is a more structured piece but Bass Study (Part II) that follows appears less so, the higher notes repeating like dripping water while the lower notes bash out what sounds like an improvised jazz riff.

The title track is ethereal and classical; Brazilian Movie Song sounds neither Brazilian nor cinematic, unless it’s a movie about dreaming. The playing is superb throughout, and Böhm’s hands sound like they flow over the keys.

Born in Ravensburg in Southern Germany in 1977 and based in Cologne, Böhm has been involved as a bandleader and as a sideman in more than 50 CDs.

Out on ACT 9761-2, the cover art is by Hermann Rudorf, Woge (1998).

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