Ehlers, born in Kiel in 1962, grew up listening to the ECM icons Keith Jarrett, John Surman and Jan Garbarek. Early on, he received piano lessons from a teacher that placed equal emphasis on playing the Goldberg Variations as well as pop songs, furthermore encouraging him to compose his own material.
This he did, testing it out in numerous sessions in countless different formations, including a four-handed rendition of his piece ‘Nachtflüge’ with veteran pianist Jasper van`t Hof in Salzau.
The trio that Martin Ehlers heads has become a closely-knit entity whose components have melted together in an very intense way. The wonderfully sonorous bass of Thomas Biller and transparent drum work from Derek Scherzer combines with Ehlers' breathing melodic arcs to bring us something that opens our eyes and ears for special moments – all of the productions of the Hamburg-based pianist and composer Martin Ehlers create beautiful profound and extremely sensual lyrical Jazz in the trio format.
And since his debut CD Strange Blue Light Bay this self-assured romantic has been playing mostly his own original material alongside his classical and modern repertoire.
Through all his albums Swedish Moment, Feel the Light (with NDR Lead trumpeter Ingolf Burkhardt) and his brandnew album Fatum (with saxophone legend Herb Geller) he consequently developed that highly sensitive way of playing, producing imaginations of wide Nordic landscapes, pictures of nature, deep emotions in a kind of beautiful and soulful simplicity rather than an abstract academic attitude.
Atmospheric density combined with transparency and clarity, that is
Light after Darkness, like one of his titles mentions.