French pianist Sebastien Paindestrelast heard on the French/American quartet Atlantico's En Rouge (La Fabrica'son, 2016)leads his own trio in a mostly-original program. The liner notes credit a Fender Rhodes technician, and the opener "Scottish Folk Song" (by Walt Weiskopf) shows why. After introducing the tune on acoustic piano with double bassist Jean-Claude Oleksiak and drummer Antoine Paganotti (with the pastoral sound promised by the title) the Rhodes makes a dramatic entry with a distorted, highly electronic sound. It's very distinctive, almost like a synthesizer rather than a piano, and it brings out an aggressive side to Paindestre's soloing.
The instrument performs a similar function on the third track, "Gaza-Paris-Jerusalem (For Peace)." There it is used both as a solo voice and as the voice of conflict during a brief unsettled section. The Beatles tune "Mother Nature's Son" gets a memorable jazz treatment next. The Rhodes is used to play the head, this time with a more conventional celeste-like bell sound. Bassist Oleksiak also gets a nice solo showcase.
It's not all about the Rhodes, though. "Louise-Anne" is an acoustic portrait of Paindestre's eight year old daughter, a lovely tune that fills the ballad slot here, although it's not quite a ballad. "La Paindestrerie" shows what the group can do with a straight-ahead hard bop tune. Despite the somewhat fusion feel elsewhere in the program, they swing like mad here. The final track is a change of pace, a duet with classical soprano saxophonist Nicolas Prost on a piece he commissioned. "Round' Radiohead" makes reference both to the Thelonious Monk classic "'Round Midnight" and the rock group RadioheadPaindestre has previously recorded two tribute albums: Tribute to Radiohead (Musea, 2010) and Tribute to Radiohead Vol.2 (Musea, 2013). It's a gentle coda to an energetic contemporary jazz program.
Track Listing: Scottish Folk Song; Jazz'titudes; Gaza-Paris-Jerusalem (For Peace); Mother Nature's Son; Blues for Violaine; Louise-Anne; La paindestrerie; Round' Radiohead.
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