New project from jazz bassist and household name on the Danish jazz stage, Thomas Fonnesbæk, with American composer and pianist prodigy, Justin Kauflin.
Fonnesbæk himself recalls the beginning of the new project like this:
My first meeting with Justin Kauflin was in Copenhagen in the spring of 2015 at Jazzhouse Montmartre, together with his childhood friend and drummer, Billy Williams. When Montmartre's former music director Christian Brorsen introduced me to them, I immediately recognized how talented they were and that Justin's pianistic virtuosity and musicality would be a most treasured musical experience.
Besides being a meeting between Justin and myself, it was a meeting of cultures with many similarities and many inspiring differences that we could express through sound in the universal language of music. We quickly discovered we also shared a neurological commonality in that we both have synesthesia, which in our case means seeing sounds as colors with our mind's eye. Synesthesia has also ended up being the title of this album.
The young jazz superstar Justin Kauflin is a pianist, composer and producer. His international recognition proves its worth on this album: He is a precise and playful pianist, but always laid-back and elegant. His style mingles perfectly with the quieter Scandinavian Fonnesbæk and together, their understated approach makes a powerful statement in itself. It’s Kauflin’s simplicity and skill that impresses the listener, his eloquence on the piano never throwing the audience off, but always inviting them to sharpen their senses to the smallest of details.
This is Fonnesbæk’s third duo album, recorded over the course of two days in beautiful surroundings in Sweden. Some of the original compositions were prepared in advance and some were improvised on the spot. It’s a rather untraditional jazz album in the sense that the bass takes the lead with only a piano as support. Nevertheless, the collaboration between just two instruments doesn’t lack any support, and rather Fonnesbæk & Kauflin create an ambience for thoughtfulness and sensitivity in a aerial soundscape that lets you appreciate every small detail.