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«Through Empty Landscapes and New Beginnings»

In this 2023 release, pianist and composer Mirek Coutigny delivers a set of highly confident compositions. Its modern classical, perhaps venturing into contemporary jazz, without ever sounding too much like a movie soundtrack. Its progressive and interactive, very forward moving, never meandering.

«We want to be remembered» opens with a beautiful interweave of cello and piano. The excellent drumbeat reminds me of e.s.t. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) at their best. My least favorite part of the album is the vocals on «What Was Lost» and «New World», which takes the album deep into pop territory, and takes me out of it, and I’m certain the otherwise great album could have done just fine without it.

The album really wants you to feel and remember. It evokes a feeling that while the pandemic is largely considered over, the world might never become exactly like it was. The point is further argumented by track titles like «we were never meant for this» and «New World».

The track selection is good, with no fillers. So while it’s a solid contemporary classical album, there is limited soloing or improving. Thus, calling it jazz or even improvised music is arguably a stretch.

Chris Risvik

Fabien Leseure (p), Mirek Coutigny (p, c, vib), Fabien Leseure (string quartet), Klaas Tomme (g, b, synth), Michaël Penson (samples)

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