"...the power of their collective history is highlighted during their third album's opening number, where de Joode's athletic and falsetto bass is matched with unerring timbral precision by the blunted subtone of Gratkowski's clarinet. The two musicians jive around each other, their counterpoint gelling into a cracked continuum, which Kaufmann bolsters using the inside of his piano. It's like the three musicians are channelling themselves through the same default sound - a strikingly original opening gambit to a savvy hour of improvised music." Philip Clark, The Wire, February 08 (about palaë)
"Yes, this trio is pretty astounding. I saw them in Houston on November 27th, and I have to say that they have even come a long way since they recorded unearth, a recording that I was proud to release on nuscope. The ways in which this group interacts and creates new environments for improvisation reminds me of the Graewe/Reijseger/Hemingway trio, despite the different instrumentation. They create a new world every time they perform. This was one of the best improvised concerts I have seen in quite some time, and is right up there with performances by other long-time groups that I have witnessed live such as G/R/H, the Schlippenbach Trio, and Parker/Guy/Lytton."
Russell Summers, nuscope recordings
"For me, however, the highlight was hearing the trio at Snug Harbor. A working band since 2002, this drummer-less group drew rapt attention from the club crowd with performances that bordered on musical telepathy. (…)
In other hands, this music might have seemed a cool, intellectual exercise in musical collage. From these three, it proved utterly sensuous, full of golden keyboard sonorities, breathy winds and even the rare sound of an accomplished bassist rubbing the body of his instrument."
Chris Waddington, Time Picayune New Orleans, December 07
From hot, Dolphy-esque cascades to piano-roll pointillism, to unresolved twelve-tone tales, its improvised chamber music of the highest order.
Clifford Allen, Signal to Noise magazine (about palaë)
"This trio gives reason to go and search out more of Kaufmann's music. (…) The three spontaneously weave compact pieces full of intricate, multi-threaded interaction. (…) The group can construct spare, riveting music from the quiet hush of bristling detailed textures. They can also shape improvisations that build to a full-bore rush of heated intensity. But what stands out most is how they do this with such a highly-developed group sound…"
Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise (about 'kwast')
"Kwast is a patient, precise 60-minute abstraction. Amsterdam-based German pianist Achim Kaufmann, de Joode and Gratkowski act as a query-fired engine; the musical questions keep things humming. Some will say this trio sounds like Anton Webern, Jimmy Giuffre and Charlie Parker; others will say its like nothing youve ever heard before."
Greg Buium - down beat magazine(about 'kwast')
"Each of the nine mid-length tracks here has plenty of substance, drama, sensitivity and virtuosity. Apparently, Gratkowski and Kaufmann first met while studying at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, and this fact is unsurprising, given the close similarity of their styles. When theyre fast, theyre furious, when they slow down, they exhibit a Bergian languor. One can guess that they listened to a fair amount of Webern, Schoenberg, Boulez, and Carter during those student days and nights in what used to be the avant-garde music capital of the world."
Walter Horn, www.bagatellen.com (about 'kwast')
"On 'redolent bones' the trio sound like ghosts, mysterious sounds floating with Achim banging and rubbing things inside the piano, as Wilbert also plays some strange sounds on bass and Frank weaves weird clarinet fragments. I dig when things get busier and more dense on 'here, no key heckles the lock', keeping us on the edge of our seats for a bit. This sounds like one of under-recognized gems that the great Nuscope label might release."
Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter (about 'kwast')
"You have to have been there - to see and hear how jazz and all facets of New Music are amalgamated here and transformed into true sonic flights of fancy."
Gerda Neunhoeffer, Südkurier (Donaueschingen, Germany)