Who would think that the piano, an instrument with a bottomless repertoire that plays such a fundamental, central role in jazz, could still lend itself to revolutionary new creative ideas? And yet the sound of Michael Wollny without doubt resembles nothing but Michael Wollny. In 2009, the 36-year-old German pianist won both the jury and audience prizes at the prestigious inaugural BMW Jazz Awards in Munich with his trio [em]. From this we can conclude that Wollny's music is both captivating entertainment and art of the highest order. Perhaps the reason he always succeeds in surprising his audience is because his influences extend far beyond his musical predecessors, as he is just as likely to draw inspiration from the work of painters, filmmakers, writers and poets as he is from the music of Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans or Björk.
It is typical of this restless pianist, eternally seeking new paths and forms of expression, that he enters into the widest variety of collaborations; anything that captures his imagination. These include his seemingly conventional trio of piano, bass and drums, the duo with tenor saxophonist Heinz Sauer, various collaborations with the trombonist and vocalist Nils Landgren, and the pairing he forms here with Israeli-born harpsichordist Tamar Halperin. The latter adventure was committed to CD in 2009 under the title Wunderkammer, a meeting of different instruments from different centuries. The Müpa audience now gets a chance to hear this acoustic dialogue, but exactly what direction the keyboard conversation will take is anybody's guess.