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The title that pianist Sébastien Paindestre has given his debut album translates as "Listen to Me. His trio, three creative soloists who also work well as an ensemble, back that up with a superb straight-ahead session. Paindestre's original compositions burn with a spontaneous, crystal clear intensity. The delicate touch that he's developed at the piano proves graceful.
In the hands of Paindestre and his musical partners, Stella by Starlight makes plenty of room for the notes to dance across the paper. Its familiar melody serves as a starting point for creative ensemble interplay where the pianist swings with feeling. As bassist Jean-Claude Oleksiak steps up with a lyrical solo, the song's melody weaves proudly through the room. Kenny Garrett's "United We Waltz provides an opportunity for the trio to stretch out over an exotic theme. They drive this piece fiercely, giving it a thrilling texture and enjoying it all the way.
Paindestre's "La Java de la Luna proves fascinating through its fluid motion and confident air. There's majesty to be found in every selection. Even the somber ballad "Certitude-Solitude comes with proud strokes and eloquent keyboard designs. The pianist's crisp delivery combines with his heartfelt blues sensibility to create a lovely trio session in the true jazz spirit.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.