Sebastien Paindestre can communicate with unbridled impressionism and also swing and bop like mad. These are what make this trio record, Parcours, such a memorable experience. The title suggests "wandering" or "wanderlust," depending on how you view the grammar of the music. You would think that it is courageous to make a trio recordpiano, bass and drumsin a world inhabited by those under Bill Evans or Ahmad Jamal, or the attempts at stretching the form made by Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau; you would probably be right. So where does Paindestre fit?
To begin with his music appears to be concerned with the ideology developed by Evansa new look, if you may, at the blurred lines between the impression of Ravel and the swinging boplicity of Bud Powell. As a classical pianist who came late to jazz, Paindestre enjoys the lightness of being: something that always characterized Evans' technique. But Paindestre also has the ability to hit the keys with bop accents like Powell did.
On this sophomore release, as he did on his privately released debut, Ecoutez-Moi, literally "Listen to me" (2005), his trio is comprised of bassist Jean-Claude Oleksiak and drummer Antoine Paganotti, who have played together for seven years. This is what gives them the almost telepathic sense of interplay. The musicians share ideas and impressions almost as if they were alter-egos of each other. Paindestre contributed most of the music for this date (barring "Un Pere Impair" meaning, "An Odd Father," which was written by Oleksiak), and it must be said that Paindestre's writing is characterized by his ability to write a standard song in varying meters.
Also from the impressionism of Ravel and Debussy, Paindestre has the ability to 'paint' musical canvases very rare indeed among musicians who get stuck in the auditory sense alone. "Metamorphose" and "La Java de la Luna" (an almost surreal suggestion of coffee and crÃƒË†—¨me on a lunar landscape) are classic cases in pointa moody piece that begins in a minor key and then brightens as it jumps from major to minor and back again. The interplay between piano, bass and drums is spectacular, as are Paindestre's hands on the keyboard. "Bess, You is My Woman Now" is rendered with extreme pathos and dances note by note as the song unfolds almost like a movie before your eyes. It is almost possible to see Porgy and Bess, arms entwined as they sweep across a floor.
On this record Sebastien Paindestre and his trio can do no wrong. But it would be of extreme interest to see how his next jazz project is rendered on record.
Le Soupirail; Metamorphose; Un Pere Impair; Bess, You Is My Woman Now; Merlin; Je Kaje Lune; La Java de La Luna II; 5 Boulevard Serrurier; Tell Me a Bedtime Story.
Sebastian Paindestre: piano; Antoine Paganotti: drums; Jean-Claude Oleksiak: bass.
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