Nils Frahm’s note perfect new album “Spaces” Sings.

Nils Frahm's Spaces.

Nils Frahm’s Spaces.

31 year old German pianist and composer Nils Frahm has been quietly building a fan base for a few years now. His latest album, Spaces, a collection of live recordings of pieces old and new is the perfect introduction to a singular talent.

Melding Contemporary, Jazz and Classical, the obvious touch stone here is the imperious Keith Jarrett.

Jarrett is clearly evoked in Said and Done (track 3), the nearest thing Frahm has to a signature track, which originally appeared on The Bells (2009). And the vocals that drift to the surface on

Hammers (t7) is a conscious echoing of a Jarrett trope. Although the melody itself seems to be an unconscious(?) nod in the direction of the Rolling StonesPaint It Black. And Jarrett is openly acknowledged in the knowingly titled Improvisation for Coughs and Cell Phone (t6).

The imperious though somehow not African American Keith Jarrett.

The imperious though somehow not African American Keith Jarrett.

It’s not all Jarrett though. Familiar (t5) nods to Philip Glass. Whilst the hypnotic waves of Says (t2) call to mind Vangelis, who also resurfaces for the genuinely epic For – Peter – Toilet Brushes – More (t8).

Jean Michel Jarre and Michael Nyman are also obvious reference points, as the boys from Pitchfork note in their review of it here, where it gets a 7.8.  And you can read what Frahm himself has to say about his musical forebearers in the interview he did with Tristan Bath for The Quietus here – though the F word is conspicuous by its absence.

What’s so impressive about Frahm is that he transcends all of these elements to produce something that is very much his own sound. As such, he’s continuing the journey begun by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Keith Jarrett before him.

You can hear Says here.

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