Triosence with Sara Gazarek: Where Time Stands Still

Triosence had already enjoyed a decade of escalating success in its native Germany when, four years ago, pianist Bernhard Schüler reached out to L.A.-based vocalist Sara Gazarek with the idea of collaborating. What began as a songwriting partnership finally led Gazarek and Schüler to a Bonn studio in late 2009 to cut these 10 tracks. But it wasn’t until earlier this year that the resultant album emerged Stateside.

The results are light and lovely, and ideal for summertime listening (there’s even a sun-dappled track entitled “Summer Song”). There’s a popish bounce to much of the material, suggesting the soothing yet sophisticated musicality of Pink Martini. Gazarek, her vocal brightness and purity as enticing as ever, is clearly the centerpiece, and never has she been provided such gorgeously crafted backing. The expert personnel includes Schüler, bassist Ingo Senst and drummer Stephan Emig, plus guitarists Frank Haunschild and Vitaliy Zolotov, violinist Andria Chang and second vocalist Lara Müller.

Gazarek and Schüler wrote all 12 songs. Most are breezy treatises on aspects of love: new, old, fragile, solid and fleeting. There are, however, a couple of darker tracks-the wistfully repentant “You Alone” and “Maybe There’s a Princess Waiting,” a clouded examination of fanciful expectations-that break the snuggly spell. Fine as this set is, hopefully it will inspire a second union of more autumnal, or even wintry, shades.