The new release of Danish pianist and composer, Morten Schantz (b. 1980), is an exploratory voyage of striking beauty and powerful dramaturgi provided by an inspired leader and a trio at its playing peak. This third album the Schantz trio, continues in the vein of the adventurous and critically acclaimed 2014 release, “Unicorn”, again augmenting the trio format with percussion throughout most of the tracks as well as adding horns and the Ondes Martenot on a few selections. Songs like “Pokhara”, “Apia”, “Hidden Island”, and the opener “Mountaineer” are all great examples of Schantz’ ability to compose mini suites in a highly personal way where the music floats like a river through grandiose landscapes. The title track “Passenger” is perhaps the greatest example of the uniqueness of Schantz’ writing with his trademark use of simplistic pop elements integrated with intricate polyrhythmic passages and rising crescendos contrasting with a very minimalistic outro reminiscing of something very suitable for a movie ending. With this exciting new release the trio offers up a free passenger seat where the listener can embark on a 45-minute inner adventure.
The trio has been touring on and off together internationally for more than 15 years now and created their very own niche within the highly dense field of piano trios.
Morten Schantz is well-known for his power quintet “JazzKamikaze”, a Scandinavian superband alongside e.g. Norwegian sax star, Marius Neset as well as leading groups like the jazz fusion trio, “Morten Schantz Godspeed” and recently the electronica power-house duo, “RKDIA”, with Swedish drummer Anton Eger. Schantz has won the prestigious “Young Nordic Jazz Comets” as well as being awarded numerous compositional grants from the Danish Arts Council and two Danish Music Award nominations.