A classically trained pianist and violinist whose influences range from Vivaldi to Egberto Gismonti, Julie Sassoon appeals to both jazz and classical music lovers. Manchester born but residing in Berlin, Sassoon, probably best known for her work with the groundbreaking trio Azilut!, has recently revisited her solo piano work with the release of her second solo album, Land of Shadows.
Sassoon’s approach to solo piano, rather akin to Keith Jarrett’s in Cologne nearly 40 years ago, is to spin mesmerising improvisations from repeated, often relatively simple, even minimalist, note clusters or motifs, readily exploring diversions as they reveal themselves to her along the way. Thematically these motifs & improvisations are driven by a deep sense of identity, both as a mother as in her first solo record “New Life,” but also as personal reflections on her own family tree as German Jews, fleeing persecution, compounded & augmented by her relocation to Berlin in 2008.
Her music taps as much into classical and serial music as jazz and a wide range of influences from Scriabin to Gismonti to Reich all surface in some shape or form as the she toys with harmonies, voicing and even vocalization to draw out this thematic narrative - Joyous free jazz for tidy minds.
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The Guardian“Julie Sassoon consistently makes the piano, her voice and her deepest emotions sound awesomely and naturally inseparable ”
All About Jazz“Her wordless vocal has an ethereal quality, floating over the notes of the piano and adding a fresh layer of harmony ”