" ... or the delicious blend – as stimulating as it is satisfying – of radically fresh dynamics and melodic sonorities, of rhythmic repose and urgency, in the 2011 Equilibrium trio date led by German pianist Benedikt Jahnel. With Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and Canadian drummer Owen Howard joining Jahnel, Equilibrium typifies the free-flowing and unforced internationalism of personnel and repertoire which continues to distinguish many an ECM project."
Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal (GBR), 24.11.19

" ... Benedikt Jahnel's playing felt almost hypnotic."
Jamal Shahid, Dawn Islamabad (PAK), 20.11.19

On "Wild Pitch" Max.bab

" Max.bab has never been shy of surprises, but their placement is proving to be ever more precise and, above all, optimally staged. (Max.bab) draws less from addition than from taking away the unnecessary from persuasion. The enthusiasm of the audience confirmed once more that Max.bab is on the right track."
Reinhard Palmer, SZ, 25.02.19

" Almost every musical maturation process leads to a certain reassurance, to more clarity and transparency. This is undoubtedly also true for Max.bab. And the more simple the themes, the more expressive the band presents them."
Reinhard Palmer,, 25.02.19

On "The Invariant" Benedikt Jahnel TRIO

" The list of great piano trios on ECM is long and daunting ... Add to this esteemed group the young German pianist Benedikt Jahnel, whose 2012 release for the label, Equilibrium alternately accesses the balladic hauntedness of Paul Bley, the soft mellifluousness of Brad Mehldau, and the technical lucidity of Bobo Stenson." (USA), 13.02.19

"Anyone who hears the recordings of Jahnel's tried-and-tested trio (...) soon realizes that the brain and heart communicate in the best possible way. Jahnel's music is very intelligent - but would only be worth half as much if he did not compensate for intellectual achievement with soulful melos, with lyrical and unconditional beauty."
Ssirus W. Pakzad, Jazzthing, 01.04.18

" "... solid pieces, rhythmic, even gliders at some point, but always the creative distillation of moments with great force." (ESP), 10.12.18

" The painstaking and progressive elaboration of themes both light and deliciously paroxysmal, an important element of the pianist's compositions, is contrasted and supported by an implacable rhythm. Here live, it sometimes takes the upper hand to disrupt the balance of lyrical constructions that intertwine with each other in a complex building." (FRA), 10.06.17

""The Invariant" begins calmly and grows to a grooving highlight of modern jazz, complex and yet accessible. ... his band has the potential to compete with the major trios of contemporary jazz."
JP, Kulturnews, 01.02.17

"Jahnel manages to have pieces balancing musical and mathematical construction but not at the expense of the music. All three players have a terrific synergy with each other, and feed of each other in an album that features memorable writing and thoughful improvisation. ... a terrific album. "The Invariant" is a cerebral effort from a trio that has established rapport that affords sensitivity and freedom. Jahnel's compositions and soloing are never less than engaging ... terrific band."
C.J. Shearn, Jazz Views (GBR), 01.04.17

"... if anything comes close to the definition of chamber jazz, then this is it. Part Jazz, part classical, it is music that is carefully crafted to bring out the best of a small, acoustic-based ensemble. Well worth a listen. "
Ian Lomax, Jazz Journal (GBR), 01.04.17

"The CD has many fine moments, but the center of force is the nine and a half minute long "Mirrors." This song is a piece within a piece, where different designs are elegantly screwed together into a fascinating whole. "Equilibrium" created some expectations. After a waiting period of four years, it's nice to see that Benedikt Jahnel, Spaniard Antonio Miguel and Canadian Owen Howard deliver as expected."
Lars Mossefinn, Salt Peanuts (NOR), 26.01.17

"This exquisite chamber jazz is quite at the height of its time, intelligently constructed and filled with vitality."
Karl Lippegaus, Stereo, 13.01.17

"... when he plays the keys, he seems to have a special lightness and power with it."
Lausitzer Rundschau, 26.01.18

"Jahnel has an acute ear for melody and that sweetens any knotty pill embedded within these eight tracks. Exciting, playful, varied in mood, but with one overriding constant: yes, the invariant is real beauty."
Peter Bacon, (GBR), 16.02.17

"With the Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and the Canadian percussionist Owen Howard, Jahnel is an unbeatable unit that brings the melodically sparkling pieces of the pianist extremely attractive to blossom."
Rolf Thomas, Jazzthing, 13.03.17

"A preternaturally sympatico rhythm section and Jahnel’s compositional leadership make The Invariant a delight from start to finish."
Michael Toland, blurtonline (USA), 01.06.17

"Jahnel has a rich classical tone that is intimate and deep. Pastoral beauty."
George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly (USA), 13.03.17

"Top 10 best new jazz recordings 2017: 6. Benedikt Jahnel Trio, The Invariant (ECM). Top 10 new compositions from CDs released in 2017: Benedikt Jahnel, “The Circuit” from The Invariant (ECM)"
Ken Franckling, (USA), 05.12.17

"The Invariant is pure beauty. "
Jazz Echo, 08.12.17

"The band works like a living being, delays in rubato parts together, seems to breathe together and the solos are very organic. With the new CD, Benedikt Jahnel shows that his trio is one of the new voices of European jazz."
Angela Ballhorn, Jazz'N'More (USA), 13.03.17

"Sophisticated (...) balance between improvisation and composition. An inviolable unity."
Rainer Kobe, Jazzpodium, 13.03.17

"Atmospherically dense groupsound, odd meters, but never going upside down, fine swing, intelligent song composition - pure sound enjoyment."
cg, Zeitungshaus Bauer, 25.02.17

"A wonderful concert evening!"
Thoralf Winkler,, 15.05.17

"The music is more intimate than it is dissolute, it is the sensitive interplay and the compositions that make the music shine. The gentlemen have created an album that is a joy to share."
Andreas Lagercrantz, (SWE), 01.05.17

" (The BJT ...) introduces the evening with jazz, which can seduce to dreams, with long melodic runs. On a reliable, harmonious scaffold, Jahnel develops soundscapes, which he expands with a lightly sparkling sound. He can also form a different, full-fledged, almost orchestral sound."
Hans-Martin Koch, Landeszeitung für die Lüneburger Heide, 13.06.17

"This gives the disc, beyond its high musicality, a musical dignity shared by Jahnel's companions, Antonio Miguel and Owen Howard. Proving that rigor and emotion may not contradict each other, but universally complement each other."
J.-P.J., Pianiste (FRA), 13.03.17

"Their music is the classical music of the present time."
Andrea Weber, Merkur, 02.02.17

"The Invariant include pieces the Jahnel has developed over the past five years though there is a consistency across the program that points toward a more focused pattern of creativity. As dominant as the pianist's play can be—and often is—the album is clearly a democratic model where all the artists have the opportunity to display their considerable talents."
Karl Ackermann, (USA), 17.02.17

" "The Invariant" is the triumph of music, openly and with total honesty presented by a group that has taken its place within all current trio formations."
Juan Carlos Abelenda, (FRA), 28.02.17

" The title of the album summarizes an artistic determination at the same time as it lends a sense to the path traveled by Benedikt Jahnel for ten years. Invariably, the Berlin pianist returned to the trio he formed with Antonio Miguel on double bass and Owen Howard on drums; Invariably, he deepened his conception of the solo not being detached from the theme and proceeding embedded sequences. Homogeneity and clarity constitute other invariants here: the cohesion of the trio is so strong that it seems to work a single piece from one title to another, a splendid material that these fine goldsmiths know how to put into practice: Light is shimmering everywhere."
Louis-Julien Nicolaou, (FRA), 25.02.17

"With the Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and the Canadian drummer Owen Howard, the Jahnel trio is an unbeatable unit that attractively supports the melodic sparkling pieces of the pianist."
RT, Jazzthing, 01.02.17

"The trio (...) continues its path on a unique path, based on the construction of a very personal language. What distinguishes this trio (is a) collective approach, an exploration on the basis of composition in motion. The Invariant is a consistent disk, subtle, to listen to with special attention: There is so much to discover."
Raphael Benoit, Citizen Jazz (FRA), 21.05.17

"Jahnel plays his clear, precisely structured piano textures - and the drummer Owen Howard and the bassist Antonio Miguel give these sounds a supportive groove."
Spiegel, 01.02.17

"Jahnel’s oddly timed, organic swing and sense of melody empowers the dance in our/his heart even at ours/his darkest moments. Flowing from the same sure source that connects us all to that grand equation."
Mike Jurkovic, Elmore Magazin (USA), 17.02.17

"The pianist Benedikt Jahnel delivers the goods ... Again, it is a detailed, melodic, classically underlined, (...) dramatically charged chamber jazz. It reflects the common developement and the resulting intuitive understanding of the musicians."
OHO, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 02.02.17

"Among the many ECM piano trios Jahnel's trio leans more toward the compositional side of the composition/improvisation spectrum. But it's still very much a jazz band, with all of the players making a significant contribution to the sound. 4 Stars."
Marc Sullivan, (USA), 22.02.17

"There is heart and soul here, but also gentle wit (Part of the Game, and the slow For the Encore comes three from the end) and provocation (Interpolation One). The piano trio is one of the pillars of jazz and here the Jahnel group neither hit the overly academic and intense, nor the formulaic, crowd-pleasing swing+a ballad for good measure. Rather they embrace many opportunities with an enjoyable equanimity and bring this one home in a way which is pleasurable and often thought-provokingly unexpected. Recommended."
Graham Reid, (NZL), 06.03.17

"The international line-up of Spaniard Antonio Miguel on double bass and Canadian Owen Howard on drums operate as a highly effective trio and the textured sounds and performances are made all the more interesting by the use on several numbers of unusual tempi. At just forty-five minutes long, there is no filler and the conciseness definitely works in the trio’s favour, with an overall understated collective voice. The all-original compositions are those of a mature musician leader, and one who has been influenced by swing jazz as well as more contemporary voices such as Michel Petrucciani, and who has a clear idea of where he is heading. In general, it is the apparent simplicity of the playing that is communicated so well, and underneath the music is refined."
Tim Stenhouse, UK Vibe (GBR), 16.04.17

"Jahnel’s play at the piano is lovely, both very clear and soft. For me, the discovery is the double bassist: Antonio Miguel sounds very confident, yet pensive at the same time. ... the music heard on "The Invariant" is very effective and quite moving, arousing pensive mood."
David Rocheleau-Houle, DRH-Jazz (DRH), 15.04.17

"Benedikt Jahnel is a prolific composer in love with music and mathematics."
Nicole Videmann, (FRA), 20.02.17

"Very unique music."
HFP online (HUN), 27.03.17

"Not bad."
Niels Overgard, (DNK), 12.04.17

"The main thing is that the compositions runs. And things here operate. As a pianist Jahnel is pleasantly melodic, a fully multi-faceted and versatile musician. The music is alive and vibrates pleasantly. Quite listenable and listener-friendly piano trio music. "
Timo Vähäsilta, (FIN), 10.04.17

"... a new light where the swing and interaction are watchwords."
Jesus Vega, El Nuevo Herald (USA), 31.03.17

"There are melodies where ones heart can be washed away."
K. Kudo, (JPN), 18.02.17

"Among the guests of this year’s festival the 35-year-old mathematician, pianist and composer Benedikt Jahnel from Berlin was one of the most intriguing: his concert sold out quite quickly. Jahnel’s trio invited the enthusiastic audience to some unexplored depths of contemporary jazz through the arithmetic of keys merged with classical inspirations and touches of groove."
N. Buket Cengiz, Jazz Journal (GBR), 03.12.17

"The concert, where three albums were visited, was a concert and dynamic performance of the trio of piano, double bass and drums, and he received a full note from the audience. As applause grew at the end of the track, Jahnel and the team played enthusiastically, hiding their smiles. When musicians are satisfied with the response they receive, it is nice to witness their hugging, enjoying, and enjoying their instruments more."
Akbank Jazz Blog (TUR), 03.12.17

"A harmonic and unique group."
J. Abspacher, Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, 27.11.17

"Elegant classic toned philosophical piano jazz with style" (JPN), 16.04.17

"Good trio, a very balanced performance."
Toshiya, (JPN), 16.01.17

"This recording is immaculate: Jahnel is a productive composer and a respectable soloist."
Louis Victor, Jazz News (FRA), 20.02.17

"... amazing Jazz. (...) One of many examples that stands for the range of variations with which this trio trumps the evening."
Ulrich Möller-Arnsberg, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 02.02.17

"The whole is beautifully crafted with the three constituent members of the trio bouncing off each other musically and rhythmically."
C. Hugh, Bebop Spoken Here (USA), 18.01.17

"Like Esbjörn Svensson or Michael Wollny, the pianist juggles in a most subtle way with highly energetic rhythms and lyrical melodies, acting logically and prudently. So, Further Consequences, the song "The Invariant" opens with, picks up where the predecessor album "Equilibrium" has ended and its ideas are still spinning. Not a repetition, but the opposite!"
CM, Qobuz, 20.01.17

"Elegant melodies pass through the room, like vapor trails, the blue summer sky. Together, they reference jazz tradition, but also celebrate their unique approach."
Jörg Konrad, KultKomplott, 07.02.17

"Jahnel, who is also a mathematician in addition to being a musician, and has already gained international recognition as a bandleader and also as a sideman with his piano art. He succeeds in playing on the narrow line between complex composition, virtuoso play and lyrical moments."
Thomas Berndt,, 07.02.17

"An album to listen to very carefully, for his countless shades and the beauty of an encounter between two musical conceptions which are only seemingly distant."
Alceste Ayroldi, Jazzitalia (ITA), 20.08.17

"... frenetic and long-lasting ovations."
Reinhard Palmer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 06.02.17

"This balanced and great sounding music is a great pleasure to listen to. The music is monochrome, but after a short time, one finds that the shades of gray are colorful and compiled with an unmistakable sense and taste." (POL), 08.02.17

"The Invariant is a jazz album that could have been a novel by Thomas Mann. This is due to the ability of Jahnel and colleagues to translate into musical notes the rhythm of life, with its ups and downs, the enthusiasm and unknowns. "
Niccolo Lucarelli, (ITA) , 21.06.17

"In summary, the whole volume is elegant and bright throughout; very approachable European piano trio jazz."
H.A., (JPN), 24.03.17

"Jahnel's skills as a composer working wonders and allowing all three musicians to breathe and roam within the trio framework. In short, 'The Invariant' is a lovely little album from a trio that's not afraid to stretch their musical muscles but also back that up with memorable melodies and alluring arrangements. Another winner from the always dependable ECM Records."
Pete Pardo,, 15.02.17

On Benedikt and concerts with Cyminology

"Flowing patterns."
Christina Bauer, Piano News, 01.03.16

"Mellifuous notes but tentatively mathematical. Best advice is to face the music and (...) learn to savour its infinite variety."
Paddy Kehoe, RTE TEN (IRE), 20.03.17

"Curiosity, openness and tolerance are the driving forces for a music that in its presentation extents existing boundaries. (...) This project does not just musically invigorating, it also opens new horizons and is heartwarming."
Jörg Konrad, Landsberger Blatt, 10.03.16

"In the city theater she presented (Cymin Samawatie), together with her first-class musicians a melancholy sound, which went under the skin and stayed in the head."
Susanne Greiner, Landerberger Kreisbote, 10.03.16

"He makes full use of cool oscillating images with sharp contours in scenes which initially leave a lot of space between the individual sequences. The they compressed and practically bursted the harmonic framework. Finally Benedikt flows into shimmering chord surfaces (...)"
Ralf Döhring, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 09.03.16

On the record and tour: 'Equilibrium'

"Good music can be that simple.... Jahnel presents a remarkable sense for beauty, improvisation and intelligent teamwork in the trio."
Collin Klostermeier, Westfalen-Blatt, January 2015

"Under direction of the eponymous German pianist, (...) the Trio marshals two of the New York contemporary jazz scene’s brightest—bassist Antonio Miguel (by way of Spain) and Owen Howard (by way of Canada)—who share his penchant for strong dynamic twists, meticulous rhythms, and lyrical touch. ...Zen groove aesthetic... Jahnel is both the voice of reason and its crumbling philosophies. Without question, among ECM’s Top 5 releases of 2012."
Tyran Grillo, (USA), June 2013

"The new face of ECM Gallery: The mathematician and pianist Benedikt Jahnel, who developed interesting "Modular Concepts" with his TRIO in 2008. Under Manfred Eicher's instructions he leads much into "Equilibrium", into balance: rhythm and melody, emotion and discipline, solo and ensemble performance. Flowing lines, edgy attacks, a fantastic team spirit - the piano fan rejoices "
MI, Audio, November 2012

"Jahnel is undoubtedly an advanced investigator of provocative rhythmic number-games. A (...) very conversational trio"
JF, The Guardian (GBR), January 2013

"A German, a Spaniard and a Canadian make up this beautiful trio that moves on land maybe already widely explored, but do so with extreme good taste and absolute mastery of the subject. Cd definitely recommended."
Alberto Bazzurro, (ITA), February 2013

"This is the debut disc by the German, Spanish and American trio of pianist Benedikt Jahnel, bassist Antonio Miguel and drummer Owen Howard, and it’s a delicate, flowing creation packed with harmonic and rhythmic interest. All the tracks are composed by Jahnel, who is also a member of the group Cyminology, and there is a seamless flow to improvisation throughout the album. [...] and there’s certainly considerable evidence of logical thinking as well as deep emotion on these tracks."
John Watson, (GBR), Novermber 2012

"A truth already apparent on Modular Concepts (Material, 2008), but even clearer with Equilibrium, the trio's long overdue follow-up and ECM debut. If anything, there are some similarities in Jahnel's approach to fellow label mate, pianist Nik Bärtsch and Ronin. But if Bärtsch and Jahnel share a certain rigor when it comes to rhythmic constructs and, more importantly, rhythmic placement, Jahnel is more intrinsically driven by song form—even, as is the case with the opening "Gently Understood," if he takes a long time getting there. Through the first three of its five minutes, Jahnel's trio collectively explores a modal, pedal toned vamp, building to an extemporaneous climax only to fade to a near-whisper and the introduction of the pianist's chordal theme—albeit one where Howard both holds down the form and explores further, a tasteful meshing of delicate cymbals and reverb-drenched, rim shot-driven drums. With Equilibrium, Jahnel has carved his own evocative space on a label that may seem loaded down with piano trios, but for whom, in the case of Jahnel, there's clearly room for one more."
John Kelman, (USA), December 2012

"This is probably one of the best jazz records that has come to my hands in 2012. The quality of sound is irreproachable and the dynamic range measuring, ratified by ear and computational tool, gives a high indicator, ensuring that the sound take is natural and minimazing artificial processing of compression, something that is welcome in actual recordings. The CD is called 'Equilibrium' and this is a suitable name: it's delicate but with courage, with solid compositions and space for improvisation, modern and classic, relaxed and tense, chaos and organization. Sacred Silence is a beautiful minimalistic ballad with the characteristics of a religious hymn. Equilibrium, a beautiful theme full of colour and subtlety that becomes in the perfect closing for a memorable end of the CD. In conclusion, a phenomenal CD, I think that "too much" recommendable, beautiful and emotional but without being presumptuous or overloaded, summing up: balanced. Excellent."
Jaime Silva, (ESP), December 2012

"...exquisitely chiming together in their musical interaction, which is distinguished by a well balanced, wide awake cooperation. Modern jazz, open minded, clever, free. Makes craving for more..."
Thomas Bunjes, Kieler Nachrichten, February 2013

"The audience dives joyfully into thick soundscapes"
Christian Wurm, Nachrichten Neuburg, February 2013

"... a delectable top class event..."
Klaus Hermann, Schwarzwälder Boten, February 2013

"The dark sounds, pianist and mathematician Benedikt Jahnel uses for the introduction of his ECM premier, directly show his favour for colors and microtonal friction. A fascinating record of the highest standard."
Sven Thielmann, Hifi Records, December 2012

"Their combined music draws from classical influences and contemporary grooves. At times rarefied and subdued, elsewhere hypnotic and intense .. It will be interesting to see where this trio ventures next."
Simon Adams, Jazz Journal UK (GBR), December 2012

"The German pianist is in the band Cyminology, and has also played with the Metropole Orchestra, Phil Woods and Charlie Mariano among others. When he is not playing the piano he is a researcher in mathematics. So you might expect to find complex rhythmic divisions and other mathematically inspired constructions in his music, and you would be exactly right. He is lucky to have the extremely adept American drummer Owen Howard with him, while Spanish double bassist Antonio Miguel is clearly no slouch as a time-keeper, too. So, does it all sound rather scientific and clinical. Well, no, not at all. A tune like Sacred Silence is marvellously lyrical, with piano and bass lines weaving around each other on a bed of brushed cymbals and snare. Other pieces are like sound sculptures (Moorland & Hill Land) or moving solo piano contemplations which grow into a kind of group solo (the title track, which, co-incidently, sounds like it is based on a phrase from Tom Waits’ Lonely). Lovely stuff." (USA), November 2012

"... a trio of special class. is the instinctive sureness and almost perfectly balanced play that distinguishes this trio particularly."
Aba, Mannheimer Morgen, October 2012

"Excellent ECM-debut."
Tobias Schmitz, Stern, October 2012

"Crystal clear transparent. Complex rhythm with delicate structure, songful melodies ..."
Uli Lemke, Jazzthing, November 2012

"Equilibrium: Indeed, a fine balanced between lyrical, harmonical music with classical references and jazzy grooves."
Zeitungshaus Bauer, November 2012

"Honourable production."
Ssirus Pakzad, In München, October 2012

"It’s not specifically true that every current ECM piano trio sounds alike. Jahnel does his share of putting his hands inside the piano innards looking for sonorities."
J.S., The Buffalo News (USA), November 2012

Heribert Ickerott, Jazzpodium, November 2012

"Ensemble playing in the focus."
Klaus Hübner, Jazzzeitung, November 2012

"The title of their second album, Equilibrium, is chosen wisely - it means balance. Subtle classical influences and contemporary concepts of groove are well balanced."
titelmagazin, October 2012

"The seven pieces of "Equilibrium" produce a unique and delicate balance between composed parts and solo- or ensemble improvisations."
Freunde der Künste, October 2012

"whoever witnessed how Benedikt Jahnel plays himself in a well-tempered ecstasy on stage knows why this musician is considered as hope of the current jazz scene. Fast-paced passages, subtle ballads and atmospheric density - that is the secret of this successful jazz evening."
Sandra Pfanner, Südkurier, 12.10.12

"delicately staged compositions that are carefully balanced between melodic catchiness and rhythmic sophistication are presented with a keen sense of sound effects. A fascinating piano-trio with great potential."
Sven Thielmann, WAZ Kultur in Essen, 28.09.12

"Like a metaphor in sounds for a mysterious play between light and shadow."
Stereo, October 2012

On concerts by Max.bab and Cyminology

"Max.bab ... sensation of the jazzscene. What counts is the moment - and the moment was magical once again."
Magnus Reitinger, Weilheimer Tagblatt, 13.02.12

"One simply can't get enough."
D. Fleege, Müncher Merkur, 07.05.13

"The powercenter: Concentration on harmony and melody. Right on the point."
Oliver van Essenberg, Fränkischer Tag, 19.04.10

" ... intensity and climaxes are developed in the background and formulated later. The musicians don't need to present themselfs in long and extravagant solos, rather they play humble and music serving. The arrangements are complex but still give room for the characters to develope."
Michael Kroll, Kulturjournal Regensburg, 30.04.10

"The band succeeded in taking the listener with them onto a trip by playing calmly and precise."
Oliver van Essenberg, Fränkischer Tag, 18.01.10

"magical chamber-music-jazz on international level. A dreamlike experience to listen to."
Jazzthetik, February 2009

"Benedikt Jahnel may be a jazz pianist, but his conception resists pigeonholing; his keyboard work unfolds like a musical cinema, with narrative force rather than standard jazz phraseology. —these players realize that they are the music. Their sound is constitutive not catalytic. If you are looking for music that reinforces your current tastes and fits neatly into the jazz rotation on your iPod, you are advised to pass on 'Niyaayesh' (Cyminology- As Ney (ECM 2084)). If you believe that jazz is not a stockpile of phrases or a "historic style," but is a spirit and openness to the possibilities of sound, then this music is required listening."
Ted Gioia, (USA), June 2009

"Benedikt Jahnel , one of the great hopes of modern jazz."
Oliver Hochkeppel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 2009

On the record: 'Modular Concepts':

"Benedikt Jahnel’s ‘Modular Concepts’ shines with crystal clarity and pure unsentimental emotion, from the first tone the music presents itself I such a natural way that one never questions but simply enjoys and follows along with it.
Jahnel is a virtuoso whose harmonies and rhythmically ingenious play radiate both intensity and transparency. First and foremost he mediates, (via this first trio recording) as a musical architect with a sharp focus on proportions.
The modular building of his compositions gives the album an overall color and unifies the content. It deals with long movements, carefully defined by the composer that develop from heir basic components, which then combine … and recombine.
Two outstanding musicians, who he met during his studies in Berlin and New York, accompany Jahnel on this recording: drummer Owen Howard and bass player Antonio Miguel.
Together they form a piano trio that travels in new ways far beyond clichés into a luminous space of musical freedom."
Wolfgang Muthspiel, July 2008

"A major success."
Ssirus Pakzad, Jazzthing, September 2008

"A fine debut. Brilliant.“ 
Christoph Irrgeher, Wiener Zeitung, November 2008

“A simply magnificent album!”
Andreas Matena, Musik An Sich, October 2008

"Music full of refinement. Unsentimental, smart, extremely clearly structured, with great overview - he is an amazing sensitive impressionist.“
Katja Seebald, Starnberger Merkur, October 2008

"Improvisation, Rhythm and lyrical parts, that show well trained handwriting and tasteful style.“
Jürgen Jurgeit, Jazzpodium, September 2008

"As the title of the blog infers, I’m an obsessive, I’m also terribly fickle. I have a new favourite pianist this week. So what’s his name today Paul? Benedikt Jahnel. It just gets better and better in Germany – as if Pablo Held, Jurgen Friedrich, Tim Allhoff and others weren’t enough along comes Benedikt (Bene) and his trio with the equally amazing Antonio Miquel – bass and Owen Howard - drums. With jazz trio X Factor (X as in the irreverent but majestic convergence of technique, swing, soul, tradition, time, vision and ‘the muse’) by the truckload, this is a masterpiece – and amazingly Jahnel’s first trio record although he has been very active in Europe and Stateside. On this blog I’ve chosen to review only music I love – it’s all 5 or more stars here. This can lead to a shortage or repetition of superlatives. This is a problem. The way Benedikt plays the piano is not.
I’m reminded of cascading waterfalls, early dawns, the pull of memory, the echoes of time and long vistas of what ‘might be’ when they play. Don’t be put off by the dull title - this music is far from that. It catches your ear, pulls at your sleeve and whispers sweet somethings in your ears to gain your attention long after the music has stopped. Compositionally it’s incredibly strong and memorable; the trio interacts in conversation at the highest levels of musical architecture and tripolar expression. At home with proto-classical/new age and folk forms, modal excursion and romantic exposition, the songs are both complex and simple, alluring but predictable, layered but accessible, romantic but cerebral. I’m finding it difficult to focus on one track as the programming order is so incredibly well finessed that it’s sounding like one suite of nine pieces seamlessly connected in time and space – a musical continuum of 50 minutes intense listening pleasure.
Something truly special has arrived on the trio scene. Immaculately recorded, glistening through the bytes, you’ll find many avenues to explore in this collection Buy it, don’t hesitate – this is where it’s at."
Paul Zetter, (USA), August 2010

For my Ilatian speaking friends: "Le note di copertina dell'album sono scritte da Wolfgang Muthspiel. Sul sito di Jahnel, si possono invece leggere lusinghieri commenti espressi nei suoi confronti da musicisti come Richie Beirach, John Taylor, David Friedman. Certo il jazz non è più quello degli anni '60, ed il vecchio adagio “dimmi con chi suoni e ti dirò chi sei” ha forse perso parte della sua efficacia. Ma è indubbio che se personaggi del calibro di quelli appena menzionati spendono parole di elogio nei confronti di un giovane collega, significa che siamo di fronte ad un musicista di talento. Talento che effettivamente emerge sin dalle prime note di Modular Concepts, album che si apre con una sequenza accordale dal sapore vagamente antico, ed al tempo stesso altrettanto vagamente contemporaneo, eseguita con estrema pulizia ed un tocco cristallino.
Come tutti i pianisti della sua generazione (è nato nel 1980), Jahnel non si pone troppi problemi di coerenza linguistica e spazia tranquillamente dal jazz più tradizionale agli echi eurocolti, da Keith Jarrett al rock. Il più delle volte lo fa con l'impeto della giovinezza. Ovvero: investendo l'ascoltatore con una valanga di note. Il rischio è quello di perdere in efficacia, diluire la musica lungo mille rivoli, venire assimilati ad organici già presenti sulla scena ma di ben minore talento e creatività (stiamo pensando ad esempio ai Bad Plus). Le ultime due tracce dell'album, più distillate, fanno tuttavia pensare che Jahnel sia in qualche misura consapevole di questo rischio, e che sia musicalmente attrezzato per affrontarlo e trovare la giusta via.
Solo il tempo dirà verso quali territori approderà nel suo cammino. In ogni caso, un musicista da seguire con attenzione."
Paulo Peviani, (ITA), January 2009

For Italien Friends: An interview: online at the italien version of all about jazz:
Luigi Santosuosso & Claudio Casanova, AAJ (ITA)

"Music full of energetic athmosphere, wonderfully fresh and without any cliché.“
Christoph Griese, Bauer Presse, August 2008

„On this recording one gets the unusual chance to listen to some highly non-trivial but elegant music. The TRIO succeeds in finding the perfect balance between being accessible and intellectually stimulating at the same time. Benedikt Jahnels piano trio jazz features three essential properties: Clarity, definiteness and unsentimental beauty. Marvelous ensemble playing.“
Roland Spiegel, Bayrischer Rundfunk, October 2008

„Benedikt Jahnel may be a jazz pianist, but his conception resists pigeonholing; his keyboard work unfolds like a musical cinema, with narrative force rather than standard jazz phraseology. —these players realize that they are the music. Their sound is constitutive not catalytic.
If you are looking for music that reinforces your current tastes and fits neatly into the jazz rotation on your iPod, you are advised to pass on 'Niyaayesh' (Cyminology- As Ney (ECM 2084)). If you believe that jazz is not a stockpile of phrases or a "historic style," but is a spirit and openness to the possibilities of sound, then this music is required listening.“
Ted Gioia, (USA), June 2009

„Jahnel, drummer Owen Howard and bass-player Antonio Miguel present the art of trio playing: they are three emancipated musicians. They manage to alternate their parts in extraordinarily elegant ways - from being an accompanist to becoming a soloist and back again. Moreover there are fascinating interplays, where all three musicians seem to play solo parts at the same time. At least the boundaries between leading and supporting seem to be blurred. Blurred are also the boundaries between classical inspirational structures and very, very clever grooves. What stays in mind: This album speaks to the heart with its very calm atmosphere. But the wit is satisfied with very elaborate compositions.“
Juergen Overkott, Der Westen, August 2008

"very effective!"
Ute Bahn, In Music, September 2008

"Benedikt Jahnel puts himself well out of the comfort zone. The title of his debut as a TRIO player takes the risk of being received as a bloodless and sophisticated - an unfounded assumption."
Tobias Richtsteig, Jazzthetik, November 2008

"In seemingly total independence these three musicians produce an extremely complex texture of harmony and rhythm. They seem to play against each other, they hardly ever meet expectations concerning recognizable forms and still manage to create the miracle of a consistent sound.“ 
Jens Raschke, Kieler Nachrichten, October 2008

„ ... take serious!“
Hans Hielscher, Kulturspiegel, October 2007

“He will prove to be a bright light in the field of creative jazz.”
Garry Dial (USA), May 2007

„This guy is swinging…“ - „…great flow“  
Richie Beirach (USA)

„Benedikt is an energetic young musician with excellent time and interesting ideas“ - „…I was pleased to hear his new compositions”.
John Taylor (GBR)

„Benedikt is a creative, sensitive and communicative personality“ - „He plays his ass of.“
David Friedman (USA)

„… one of great hopes of modern Jazz.“
Die Jazz Zeitung, March 2006

"... not daunting and complicated, but melodic and delicately structured... with room for a little bit of magic..."
Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 2006