The alternative jazz piano trio vibe hits rather poignantly during the start of the opening piece on Ailleurs
, "Le Paradis Perdu. With dense bells, cymbals, prepared piano treatments and an ethereal world music sound, you might guess that the Colin Vallon Trio is up to something rather special. The musicians instill budding movements and regal choruses into a set where twelve interrelated works also surface as noticeably disparate musical statements.
The action amid a quasi-freeform and dirge-like spiritual passage during "Swing Low provides but a few of the many highlights here, where the band merely straddles the avant-garde schema. On "Robots, the musicians generate a systematic rhythmic ostinato that sounds like a whacked-out mechanical process.
Vallon's piano work is capacious, intriguing and deceptively complex. On "Mardi, he steers a push/pull motif atop an odd-metered pulse, sparking remembrances of Keith Jarrett's modern jazz-based boogie-woogie grooves. Nonetheless, Vallon and his rhythm section spin a distinctive cycle of events. The concepts that run throughout this program create a new and irrefutably charismatic aura. Saturated with neither effects nor cacophonic expressionism, Ailleurs professes a sense of oneness that hits home from the start.
Personnel: Colin Vallon: piano, prepared piano; Pat Moret: bass; Samuel Rohrer: drums.