About the album
The take-no-prisoners approach of the opening track seems to convey only one message: make no mistake, the jazz piano trio is still alive and… kicking ass. The song, the exuberant Latin Cherish your Sunshine, is characterized by a mercurial melody that slithers, full of catch-me-if-you-can bravura, along the bar-lines. When, in the ‘tutti’, the theme is finally caught by the expertly chasing rhythm section, the listener cannot feel anything but joy. It’s the same joy that the Michiel Borstlap Trio - Boudewijn Lucas: electric bass, Erik Kooger: Drums - experienced whilst recording the album.
“Some people claim that the jazz piano trio format has been squeezed dry. We most certainly do not agree with that misconception, and that’s what 88 is all about.”
Being asked if there is, apart from the ‘keeping-the-trio-alive attitude’, a concept underpinning the lush musical structures of his latest album, Borstlap figures the title 88 says it all. The pianist is still in thrall of the grand old lady’s ebony and ivory touch. “88 refers to the number of keys on a full scale piano, so you might say the concept is the piano itself. I’m still mesmerized by its possibilities in the broadest sense.”
Standing, literally and figuratively, tall between his peers Michiel Borstlap epitomizes modern Dutch jazz piano. On this recording he even ventures beyond the restrictions of the grand piano by reintroducing the Fender Rhodes electric piano, an instrument Borstlap hasn’t been heard on for quite a while.
So all of you who still think the piano trio is helplessly passé: take a load of this. 88 might just be the thing you’re looking for! (from the linernotes, written by Ruud Meyer)
A superior Dutch jazz pianist, Michiel Borstlap has been busy since 1992 when he graduated from the Hilversum Conservatoire. He recorded 16 albums in the 20 years that followed including 2012’s 88. He won the 1996 Thelonious Monk Composition Competition with “Memory Of Enchantment,” a piece that Herbie Hancock later recorded and that is included on 88. Also in his career thus far, Borstlap cut an album of selections by ...