About the album
Recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in March 2010, “Imprint” is an album of poised, lyrical playing. Hülsmann credits producer Manfred Eicher with maintaining the album’s patient pace. “Whenever we felt the temptation to play more busily, he’d remind us that the music must flow. Naturally, we want this, too, but sometimes it takes a little courage to leave the pieces alone.” At the album’s conclusion, however, the musicians romp into a tribute to Thelonious Monk, high priest of deceptive ‘simplicity’. “Who’s Next” is a slyly swinging piece, freely created, but very much in the tradition, and a reminder that even European jazz has its roots elsewhere.
Julia Hülsmann’s ECM debut, “The End of a Summer”, recorded in 2008, established a change of emphasis for her trio’s work. Where earlier projects had been with singers, foregrounding the setting of texts, the ECM production put the focus back on the music, on the melodic allure of Hülsmann’s pieces, and the complementary compositions of Marc Muellbauer and Heinrich Köbberling. International response to “The End of a Summer”, and the touring that accompanied it, reinforced a wish to work more intensely in a ‘pure’ trio context. Hence “Imprint”. Most of the pieces here were written in the spring and summer of 2009, although there are also a few older pieces (“Rond Point”, “Grand Canyon”, “A Light Left On”), transformed in the course of the recording session itself.