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Equilibrium is the ECM debut of a German/American/Spanish trio, which through frequent touring has grown into a remarkably tight and stylistically unique unit in recent years. Fuelled by the tension created through the contrasting styles of pianist Benedikt Jahnel (whose approach is characterised by an unusual interest in rhythmic subdivisions) and drummer Owen Howard (who, in Jahnel's words, "treats and perceives rhythmic phrases as melodical lines without fixed micro units"), and with bass player Antonio Miguel often the musical mediator, the group's sound draws subtly from classical influences as well as contemporary concepts of groove.

Leader Benny Jahnel, also known as a member of Cyminology (which, to date, has recorded two albums for ECM), has sharpened his profile playing with the Metropole Orchestra, Phil Woods, Johannes Enders, Charlie Mariano, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie. Jahnel and Owen Howard first met when Howard taught as a guest professor at Berlin's Universität der Künste. Later, when Jahnel spent two years in New York in 2005/2006, his artistic relationship with the Brooklyn-based drummer intensified. Also in New York Antonio Miguel, who at the time finished his studies with John Patitucci, completed the group.

Produced by Manfred Eicher at Radio Televisione Svizzera in Lugano the seven tracks on Equilibrium, all Jahnel originals/compositions, strike a unique and delicate balance between composed parts and improvisation or group improvisation. The album's title refers to certain analogies - related to questions of balance - which Jahnel (who in his "second life" works as a researcher in mathematics at Ruhr University) found in his artistic and in his scientific work, analogies.

Personnel: Benedikt Jahnel (piano), Antonio Miguel (double-bass), Owen Howard (drums)


  1. Name
  2. Gently Understood
  3. Sacred Silence
  4. Moorland & Hill Land
  5. Wrangel
  6. Augmented
  7. Hidden Beauty
  8. Equilibrium
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