Making fragile melodies sparkle

A trio led by Berlin saxophonist Henriette Müller performed at the well-attended Zehntscheuer hall in Münsingen – full of urgency, yet relaxed....
With absolute concentration and clarity, saxophonist Henriette Müller, bassist Simon Pauli, and Johannes Bockholt on a mini-percussion set made Müller's fragile melodies sparkle... The silence between the rhythms comes alive, and the audience respires with the music. Müller plays the saxophone with an unusually academic yet warm tone that flows into perfectly improvised passages.

The roles change constantly among who leads with melodies and who dictates changes to the rhythm. The two other members of the trio also get a chance to display the full range of their skills: Simon Pauli strokes and plucks the electric bass in accentuated fashion up into the highest ranges, and his frequent extemporaneous runs are always harmonious and surprising. Johannes Bockholt performs with every bit as much energy and circumspection on the drums.

Although the three musicians deliberately refrain from technical fireworks, band leader Henriette Müller, in particular, compels the audience to listen attentively. As if the program, consisting entirely of her own compositions, did not require any effort, the three musicians go about their work with a good-natured ease and striking dexterity. Tuning in finely, with a vivid sound and intelligent dynamic nuances, Henriette Müller leads while the others follow with perception and sensitivity.

In "Silberne Lachtränen" and "Allegria ma non senza tristezza", a simple rhythmic structure begins to vibrate at the core and carries the music forth. A fragment of a motif, placed with precisely the right weight, changes the course of affairs. With a fine sense for the balance of sound, the three achieve an almost hallowed concord.

Nearly imperceptibly, the individual instruments emerge from the aggregate of the group only to re-submerge; as if of a single mold, they summon fine nuances, letting the sound dive down into jazzy regions in modulations of contemporary chamber music.