Straight upon its release, Edgar Knecht’s Dance on Deep Waters shot into the German Jazz top 30, within immediate reach of legends like Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin and John Scofield. Knecht’s charts triumph is yet another sign that the pianist has established himself as one of Europe’s most unique and recognisable jazz musicians.
Similar to the folk experiments of artists like Karl Seglem or Jan Garbarek, Knecht taps into German traditionals, only to channel them through the lense of African rhythms, Latin grooves and complex chord schemes. His deeply personal vision comes alive through the interaction with a band composed of both highly experienced instrumentalists and fresh talent, pitting two drummers and percussionists against a piano and bass duo.
Not only has it earned him recognition like the Creole Award and appearances at leading events such as the Havanna Jazz Festival und Enjoy Jazz. But it has also resulted in two acclaimed studio albums. Compared to the ensemble’s versatile debut, Dance on Deep Waters is a more focused affair, charging between arcane ballads and passionate, richly textured uptempo pieces, which ebb and flow with great fluency. There is an urgency to this music, which proves Knecht’s conceptual point of departure: That these ancient pieces tap into fundamental emotions which are just as vital today as they were many centuries ago.