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Xaver Hellmeier - "X-Man in New York" - Jazzy hour, 30 January 2024

It's getting harder and harder to be a relevant instrumentalist, to manifest your personality in such a way that the audience gets exactly what you offer. Chances increase when you have good mentors and ensure your uniqueness by taking on their level of holding and mindset. Drummer Xaver Hellmeier is heading in the right direction, that's what I think after listening to his album "X-Man in New York", produced by his mentor Joe Farnsworth and recorded in Rudy Van Gelder's studio with four of the best instrumentalists on the planet: trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Peter Washington and saxophonist Eric Alexander, i.e. the AND of jazz, expressed in the refined language of hard bop. There's no better setting in which to make your mark as a young musician, with drum sticks, drum brushes and some very fine compositions tastefully set among standard headlines. For us, "X Man In New York" is full of delight, hearty, vibrant jazz set well in a present to be enjoyed to the full.