Ian Patterson reviews The Sweetness of Things Half Remembered. ‘Karlen’s music is both cerebral and emotive. It’s music that’s difficult to box and therein lies a great part of its undoubted appeal.’
If there’s one complaint is that the forty plus minutes seem a little short – a sure sign that this duo is pushing all the right buttons.
There’s perhaps more of Sheens the Downbeat poll-winning pianist this time out but significantly Untranslatable ups the ante compositionally, with the Yanni Burton String Quartet leaving an indelible stamp on a third of the tracks.
Inevitably, the different currents converge and the trio voice flows freely. Unrelenting cymbal and bass bomb patterns, sawing arco and swirling piano create a heady maelstrom, with Abrahams alternating sharply between staccato patterns fashioned by two and then ten fingers.