Rocket In My Pocket is the latest album from the hKT, a trio that represents the best of the vibrant Hamburg music scene.
Boris Netsvetaev (piano, keyboards), Philipp Steen (double bass, electric bass), and Kai Bussenius (drums) are three prodigious talents, who, despite extensive formal training, haven’t lost their connection to youth culture.
On this album they seamlessly weave a sound that incorporates elements of traditional jazz, retro fusion, a bit of funk, and classical music. The result is appealing to jazz fans with discerning tastes, but it’s also accessible to non jazz listeners. They are compositionally strong with emotional depth and considerable range, and as soloists they combine impressive skills with inventiveness and tasteful restrain.
I’m particularly impressed by their moodier pieces: “A Sketch in Dark Colours”, “Tekla”, “The Incredible Atmo”, “Desert Sun.”
Michael Bailey, a senior writer at All About Jazz, has kindly shared his first impression with Jazzamatazz:
The jazz piano trio is a ministry unto itself. The most durable of formats, the trio’s perimeter has been expanded in recently by Medeski, Martin and Wood, The Bad Plus and Soulive. The Russian-led, German trio, Hammer Klavier Trio, takes the trio a step further with a classically-infused, harmonically-centered offering, Rocket In My Pocket.
Pianist and composer Boris Netsvetaev conjurs a dozen rhythmically and melodically challenging originals for bassist Phillip Steen and drummer Kia Bussenius to cut their considerable chops on. Netsvetaev does this with a variety of keyboards without every losing the piano ambiance. “Desert Sun” sports a Fender Rhodes buffered by electronics. “Suicide Train” is angular and precisely composed to take advantage of Bussenis’ dead time in odd meters. Steen plays a fine solo, arco, on “The Incredible Atmo,” rounding out a fine modern trio recital. Michael Bailey
Tip of the hat to their label for this excellent promo film, it’s in German, but you’ll still get a good feel of what these guys are all about.