CD Review: Sandro Sáez Trio, No Perspective

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Given the prevailing challenges in society, it’s unsurprising that these issues influence the work of many musicians. Recently, an album reflecting this sentiment landed on my desk – the debut release by bandleader Sandro Sáez, aptly titled “No Perspective”. Released on February 12, 2024, under the hey!blau Records label, this album introduces Sáez as a distinctive voice in the European jazz scene.

The trio, comprised of Sandro Sáez on piano and composition, Niklas Lukassen on bass, and Nathan Ott on drums, delivers a collection of nine original tracks, with Ott contributing the composition for the track “Forgiveness.” Recorded in 2022 at Recpublica Studio in Lubrza, Poland, the album promises a sophisticated blend of contemporary jazz, free improvisation, and echoes of 20th-century classical piano music.

Sandro Sáez’s journey to this debut has been marked by his extensive musical education, including studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg and the Jazz Institute Berlin. The young pianist, who now calls Berlin home, has already made a significant impact on the jazz scene. His collaborations with internationally renowned artists and his jazz-hop project, boasting over 4.2 million streams on Spotify.

With a deliberate avoidance of overused superlatives, it’s evident that Sáez’s music is a direct response to the challenging global conditions and trends of the modern world. His compositions navigate a rollercoaster of emotions, capturing moments of happiness and sadness, trust and mistrust, fragility, and resilience.

The trio’s musical connection is palpable throughout the album, creating a conversational dynamic that enhances the overall listening experience. “No Perspective” kicks off with the title track, featuring an angular melody woven into a dissonant harmonic framework. “Osrams Chimneys,” inspired by pollution from the former Osram GmbH factory in Berlin, follows with a distinctive sonic landscape.

“Sorry For My Language” introduces a lopsided waltz, leading into the standout track, “Deep Down – When Will It Be,” a high-energy up-tempo swinger that showcases the trio’s prowess. “Forgiveness,” the only true ballad on the album, begins with an extended piano introduction, providing a moment of introspection.

“Bundy’s Bug” evolves into a straightforward swinger after a foreboding start, while “Out Of Nothing” explores a quasi-Latin territory, highlighting Sáez’s exceptional piano playing. “House Of Cards” returns to the angular feel of the opening tracks, featuring an engaging piano and bass ostinato. Closing the album is “Evil Gentlemen,” a deceivingly straightforward track with a stellar bass solo—a rare treat on the album. While listeners might wish for more bass solos throughout the record, Ott’s performance on “Evil Gentlemen” proves worth the wait.

In summary, “No Perspective” is an exceptionally strong debut for Sandro Sáez. Avoiding grandiose language, the album impresses with its intricate compositions, skillful interplay among the trio, and Sáez’s ability to convey a wide range of emotions. As this talented pianist continues to evolve, it’s clear that “No Perspective” is just the beginning of what promises to be a noteworthy career in the jazz landscape.

Sandro Sáez, piano, composition | Niklas Lukassen, bass | Nathan Ott, drums

Track Listing:
1. No Perspective | 2. Osram’s Chimney | 3. Sorry for my language | 4. Deep Down/When will it be | 5. Forgiveness | 6. Bundy’s bug | 7. But of nothing | 8. House of cards | 9. Evil Gentlemen

Release Date: February 12, 2024
Format: CD | Streaming
Label: hey!blau Records

Last modified: May 20, 2024