Pablo Held – piano
Within the space of just a few years, Pablo Held has gained fame in Germany and abroad with his own bands, namely the Pablo Held Trio and GLOW, as well as in his collaborative work with legendary American jazz rock guitarist and composer John Scofield.
Embracing You is a special project for Held in several ways. It's not a conventional solo piano album, for it features Mellotron, celesta and synthesizers in addition to a grand piano. The recording process stretched over nearly a year, with sessions in various studios and some shifts in creative direction along the way. Embracing You is dedicated to Held’s family, who’ve been the main source of inspiration for his music, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. So it’s become a family album: personal, emotional, sincere.
But opportunities to hear his solo project live have been few and far between till now. Alone at home, Held often sits down to play his piano, an instrument with an extremely neutral, quasi generic sound, whose power really comes to the fore in live performance: "Actually, I'd always avoided performing solo,” he says. “Maybe because of all the pressure that puts on me to make the music all by myself – there’s no one else there. But at some point I realized I actually play solo very often – namely at home. That was an important realization that gave me a different perspective on things. So a solo album didn't seem all that outlandish anymore, but maybe even worth doing."