Florian Hoefner knows how to work a melody. His 2012 release Songs Without Words was one of the very best things to get released that year, and it was in no small part a result of the pianist's vibrant display of melodicism. Two releases since then did nothing to diminish that reputation.
This 2016 performance at the Bremen, Germany venue Sendesaal provides the opportunity to hear that melodic talent unfold in a solo setting. Live and all by his lonesome, Hoefner has all the space he wants to explore and execute his melodic inventions, and it's an opportunity he doesn't waste for even a moment. Right from the start, he switches things up. "The Great Auk" delivers the melody more as a presence than a statement, whereas the melody of "Migration" is an amassing of glittering melodic fragments all packed in tight. Tracks like "The Send" and "Never" show that Hoefner is equally capable of delivering the melody succinctly. Catchy, too, when he wants to, as he does on "Green Gardens."
The songs of Coldwater Stories were inspired by Hoefner's new digs in Newfoundland, and perhaps no better piece reflects the tranquility of that place than the album finale "With the North Atlantic." It's a lovely ending for a lovely album.
You need this album today, right now.