Storyville Records


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Thomas Fonnesbæk / Justin Kauflin
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Standards consists of a series of standards that were not on the 2017 Kauflin/Fonnesbæk release Synesthesia, where most of the material consisted of original compositions. Justin and Thomas occasionally warmed up for the Synesthesia session by jamming on a few standards - not really considering their release, but more as a means of developing a common language regarding well-known melodies. And since they were in the studio, these functioned as an excellent diversion, after which they could relax with the other takes on the agenda. At the time they even considered deleting these 'diversions', which would have been a rather hasty decision! So now you can hear a mix of the 'left-overs'. There is no editing, which means the numbers were recorded as though it were a live concert, and then mixed. There are two tunes that were on the duo's first CD - It's All Right with Me and Nigerian Marketplace - but they both felt that these takes were strong enough to make it in their own right.
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. Thomas Fonnesbæk is a fascinating musician who exudes technical brilliance and a superior sense of rhythm, as well as a melodic and harmonic sensitivity reminiscent of Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen that never overshadows his own unique style.
Great art gets us to forget daily life for a moment. It makes us aware of our feelings, our senses and intuition. In the case of jazz, it’s about our being forced to be in the present. At its best, jazz takes us on a creative journey where the musicians are what they do, and do what they are as they merge with their art. When this happens it’s as though the harness of rationality is loosened, giving room for our consciousness to expand while making life look a little bit brighter. Standards is a perfect example of two musicians doing just this.


Thomas Fonnesbæk - Bass

Justin Kauflin - Piano


What is magical about standards is that we may have heard them thousands of times by multiple artists, they still manage to surprise us, provided that the performers are up to the task. This is indeed the case here with the duo formed by Danish double bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek and American pianist Justin Kauflin. I mentioned earlier the sound of NHOP, that of Thomas Fonnesbaek is not bad either, as for Justin Kauflin , the fluidity and virtuosity of his playing are truly bluffing. - Jazz Nick Names

Bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek joins in the Swedish studio with pianist Justin Kauflin for nine lovely and lyrical duets of jazz standards. Fonnesbaek’s bass is warm and melodic as it states the theme and is out front on a rich “In A Sentimental Mood”, sprints out an intro to a spry on a chugging “Take The ‘A’ Train” and gets deep on the lead in to a dramatic “It’s All Right With Me”. Kauflin’s left hand is playful on the bopping “Bouncing With Bud”, luscious on Oscar Peterson’s “Nigerian Marketplace” and the two ricochet with aplomb on McCoy Tyner’s “Inception”. Dancing in the dark. - Jazz Weekly

This is the third time I listen to the cooperation between Thomas Fonnesbæk and Justin Kauflin and it sounds just as hip this time. - Tor Hammerø

The music on Standards has an edge and soul. Strayhorns Take The A Train, Berlins How Deep is the Ocean and Ellingtons In a Sentimmental Mood and others are geting a high octane treatment. It is all very powerfull and fascinatingly simpel. - Ivan Rod


Bouncing with Bud Take the A Train How Deep Is the Ocean In a Sentimental Mood Whisper Not Inception Round Midnight Nigerian Marketplace It's All Right with Me

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