Barbara Dennerlein, Hammond B3 organ, sythesizers
Daniel Messina, drums, percussions, vocals
The German jazz organ lady, having meanwhile gathered a worldwide reputation, takes us by surprise. Her new release "Love Letters" is very different from earlier albums, in many respects.
Not so important, but worth being mentioned: It is not Verve, the label of her last releases, but Bebab Records which has presented this new album.
On this album, Barbara turns back to a minimal team, the DUO. Solos, Duos and Trios have marked the beginning of Dennerlein's career. Later, in the 90's, we got used to albums with a bunch of artists, from which Barbara always stood out. "Love Letters" let you hear a highly committed companion on the drums, Daniel Messina, who has worked now for six years with Barbara. And all the other instruments, beside the organ itself, are produced by Dennerlein's synthesizer. This is the next difference. Pure Hammond organ freaks will learn that with a certain shudder. But leaving common paths demand new means. And Barbara is not at all afraid of trying new ways, although the ideas which led to the music of this album do not seem to be that new. They remind us the early days of Pat Metheny or Lyle Mays. But Barbara combines her rhythmic feeling and superb skills on the Hammond with a somewhat contemplative, partially meditative mood. This mixture gives her music the uniqueness you will discover listening to it.
Not all tunes, which by the way are composed by Barbara, follow this different way. "Funkish" or "Jimmy's Walk", dedicated to Jimmy Smith, are of agreeable freshness. The album starts with a funky tune and ends with the colourful "Pendel der Zeit" (pendulum of time). Is this the sign for further experiences?
With this album, Barbara prooves that she has got the courage to go on her own way. For that, she deserves our full recognition.