After eight years, pianist Jens Thomas is presenting a new album on ACT, and a very unusual one at that: Speed of Grace a tribute to the music of Australian hard rockers AC/DC, featuring not their typical loud rock, but rather music which is more reminiscent of intimate ballads. That the name Jens Thomas needs to be explained to young jazz fans also shows how short lived the jazz industry can be, as it was only a decade ago that this same Jens Thomas had one of the most rapid career ascents in German jazz history. 2000 s ACT release You Can´t Keep A Good Cowboy Down , was a resounding success. The album which followed one and a half years later Shadows In The Rain , which reinterpreted songs by Sting, was even more successful. It was named Album of the Year…
throughout Europe by France s Jazzman, Britain s Jazzwise and the annual German Record Critics Award. Jens Thomas came up with just the right sound for his not entirely risk-free encounter with AC/DC. His versions go fully against the grain hard rock becomes lyrical chamber music dimmed down to impressionist ballads which are fully improvised right down to their framework. The rip roaring rock anthem Highway To Hell almost becomes a fragile, sad lament and the older rock numbers like The Jack are, to a certain extent, freed from any stylistic burden and given a totally new, minimalist form. This also shows that AC/DC s music is often underestimated.
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