Sunday, October 28, 2012

Walter Norris & Leszek Możdżer - The Last Set – Live at the A-Trane (2012)

Walter Norris & Leszek Możdżer

Walter Norris - piano
Leszek Możdżer - piano

The Last Set – Live at the A-Trane (2012)

The American pianist Walter Norris (1931-2011) ranks among the great but quiet heroes of his art. Before his death in 2011, he recorded a magical concert with the star pianist of Polish jazz, Leszek Możdżer, at the Berlin jazz club “A-Trane” on two separate pianos. It remains the last recording of Walter Norris and to pay tribute to this outstanding artist, a year on from his passing ACT releases The Last Set – Live at the A-Trane.

It was in Berlin where Walter Norris first met Leszek Możdżer who recollects, It was in the 90’s and I was still a teenager when I listened to the music of Walter Norris for the first time at a friend’s flat in Berlin. I was fascinated by the intensity and originality of Walter’s playing from the first moment on and ten years later he came to a concert of mine at the Berlin Polish Institute. We quickly got to know each other and I was deeply impressed by his personality, openness and helpfulness.

Możdżer then suggested Norris and him collaborate for a couple of concerts in Berlin and Poland. They developed a concept, rehearsed together and, on 2nd November 2008, played live for the first time on two pianos at the Berlin jazz club A-Trane, a place where Walter was a regular musical guest. The concert became one of these rare, great experiences for everyone involved – full of true music, deep but making everyone smile with bliss at the same time. Możdżer recalls. The concert remained their only collaboration: On the night of October 29, 2011, Walter Norris died in his home in Berlin at the age of 79.

In the words of Leszek Możdżer, Walter didn’t have a big career, he just played music. He was a true artist, though he often shone in the background, and it is about time someone drew attention to him. ‘The Last Set’ – Live at the A-Trane is the impressive and worthy legacy of a unique musician full of curiosity, versatility, persuasiveness, a strong attitude and technical brilliance.

source: ACT (press release)

1. Tactics, Leszek Możdżer
2 . From Another Star, Walter Norris
3. Head Set Trance, Leszek Możdżer
4. Reflective, Walter Norris
5. Spider Web, Aladar Pege
6. Nefertiti, Wayne Shorter
7. Postscript Blues, Walter Norris

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