AMY REMPEL: Chatter
By Michael Flynn
If unfamiliar with the talents of Amy Rempel you should take note, this young Canadian pianist has produced an album deserving of more than these few lines of praise. Rempel, a former winner of the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award, relocated to Wellington as a doctoral candidate at the NZ School of Music. Over the past 18 months she has gained recognition and acclaim for her work with a number of respected Kiwi artists. ‘Chatter’ is her debut recording, and once again Rattle Jazz have produced an album worthy of their fine catalogue. Supported by the talents of bassist Jeremy Allen and Jason Tiemann on drums, Rempel leads this trio through a selection of dazzling compositions with her sensitive yet explorative playing. From the hypnotic opener Laguna Blue, you can sense that this is going to be a marvellous listen. And it is, as Rempel glides over the tender melody before placing it gently at the feet of Allen’s softly supportive bass. A pleasant surprise is the inclusion of Jerome Kern’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Rempel manages to give this piece a sensitive twist that a number of other artists might have failed to do. With four of her own compositions and two by producer David Lisik, this is a very capable debut indeed. Highly recommended.