Jim Black Trio - Actuality

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2014 release

from W&W:

Drummer Jim Black, born in 1967 in Seattle, Washington, and residing in New York, forms his first classical piano trio with the almost one generation younger pianist Elias Stemeseder (born in 1990 in Salzburg) and bassist Thomas Morgan (born in 1981 in Hayward, California). Jim Black – who also leads the group AlasNoAxis, plays a major role in Human Feel, creates an exciting new interpretation of Mahler, Mozart and Gershwin with the Uri Caine Ensemble, and belongs to John Zorn's Masada – discovered Elias Stemeseder a couple of years ago during summer classes. From this first meeting a close collaboration develops itself. With Thomas Morgan, performing at that time with Paul Motian, Black finds an ideal partner for the bass. The foundations for this trio are laid in 2010 and already in 2011 appears the debut album »Somatic« on Winter&Winter. Downbeat writes in June 2012: "Black has assembled a remarkably intuitive group here that brings an effective mixture of accessibility and elusiveness to his compositions, a combination that keeps the listener engaged, guessing and surprised." 

In January 2014 the Jim Black Trio records its second album »Actuality« live-to-analog-two-track at Sear Sound Studio in New York. All compositions are penned by Jim Black. The album opens with silent, melancholic tones. Jim Black emphasises especially the fine nuances. The concentrated and sensitive interaction of the three musicians, who are excellently connected, is convincing in every phase. The concept of the album resembles a song cycle without words. Jim Black lets his music breathe, gives time and space, opens subtle tones with rich sounds and  allows a wide and dynamic spectrum.

A few weeks before the studio production, the trio went on a tour in Europe and gave several live concerts in New York before the first studio day. Jim Black, Elias Stemeseder and Thomas Morgan build an extraordinary unity. It is not surprising that Paul Motian's music has influenced the young Jim Black. In the same way as Paul Motian has shaped the Bill Evans Trio, Jim Black as well does not take the role of a time keeper, but instead plays with his very own, distinctive melodies on his drums and cymbals and remains alway very closely interrelated with piano and bass. Black unfolds a soulful and melodious playing, and Elias Stemeseder and Thomas Morgan make room for these delicate yet powerful sounds. This trio has a particular feeling for overtones and refined nuances. The album ends with the piece "Should Be Painless". From the first to the last resonating tone the Jim Black Trio performs at the highest level.


Jim Black impresses with his musical creativity and endless curiosity, he is one of the most demanded drummers of the jazz world. In 1991 Jim Black moves to Brooklyn, where he has been living until now. In the year 2000 he released his widely acclaimed debut CD »AlasNoAxis« (called by The Wire "a masterpiece of future jazz"). »Actuality« is his ninth leader album on Winter&Winter. 


Thomas Morgan starts at seven with the cello, which he will continue until the age of 14 when his attention turned to the double bass. In May 2003 he receives his bachelor of music at the Manhattan School of Music. Thomas Morgan has collaborated with important artists such as Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, David Binney, Joey Baron and Steve Coleman.


Elias Stemeseder decides from the early age of nine to concentrate on the piano as his main instrument. After dedicating himself exclusively to classical music for four years, he develops a deep interest for jazz and launches his first band. At only 15 he is accepted at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz for the study of jazz piano. His trio receives the prestigious Joe Zawinul Award in 2008.


SKU 025091021321
Barcode # 025091021321
Brand Winter&Winter

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