This remarkable concert at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, an architectural wonder on the outskirts of Paris, demonstrates the rich intersection between classical music and jazz.
The first part of the performance features Luca Sestak, a German piano trailblazer born in 1995. He gained a foothold in classical music as a prodigious child and later switched his focus to boogie-woogie, describing how his heart was "beating much louder for the blues." By the age of 12 he was playing on the festival circuit and, though 1920's-esque boogie-woogie isn't a style we'd associate with young European artists, Sestak channels its vitality and character to such an extent that it sounds fresher and more engrossing than ever. Here, joined by drummer Johannes Niklas, he concocts a blend of intoxicating boogie and softer, more classically-influenced pieces that offer respite in between the bouncing blues numbers.
Part two is just as captivating, featuring Welsh pianist Gwilym Simcock, who found broad recognition accompanying the legendary guitarist Pat Metheny. Simcock converted a solid classical music grounding into a jazz career inspired by the likes of Keith Jarrett. His astonishing solo performances have won praise from iconic pianists such as Chick Corea and he demonstrates a beguiling sweet spot between jazz styling and classical reference points, making him one of Europe's most influential and challenging young practitioners.
Both Sestak and Simcock are driving forward the new generation of genre-melding musicianship, working between and beyond categories with a progressive outlook that honors past masters.
Munich Summer Piano Festival 1997
Jazz Sessions - Piano Parade (6)