118

Colin Vallon Trio: Rruga

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The piano trio—piano, bass and drums—can seem something of an anachronism in a time when musical artists make use of synthesizers, electronics, laptops and loops to craft their sounds. But scores of pianists still go to the acoustic trio format as one of their primary means of expression. In looking toward jazz veterans, Keith Jarrett and Ahmad Jamal come to mind. With a newer group of artists, it's possible to point to Bill Carrothers, Brad Mehldau, Greg Reitan, and so many more.

Colin Vallon, born in 1980, is one of the newer generation of piano trio artists, rising to higher visibility via his ECM debut, Rruga. With his trio mates—bassist Patrice Moret and drummer Samuel Rohrer—the Swiss pianist has crafted a CD's worth of music that features a continuity of mood and atmosphere, in keeping with the ECM aesthetic, that has much in common with the label's more established piano trio artists, including Tord Gustavsen and Marcin Wasilewski: a patience in the unfolding of the tunes; an oft-times dreamy, pastoral mood; European folk music tints; a give-and-take equilibrium instrumentally; and also, with this trio, a sharing of compositional input.

Opening with Moret's "Telepathy," a feeling of whispered secrets pervades with gentle yet insistent repetitive phrases, spoken over a backdrop of a subtle rhythm that gathers momentum and intensity while still remaining steadfast and contained. The Vallon-penned title tune is less chant-like—prettier, and more melodically distinctive. It has a break-of-day mood as it brightens, then shifts into a twilight groove near its end, with Vallon caressing the piano keys with the lightest touch, while Roher's "Polygonia" has a spare, midnight mood, a music for things unseen but somehow sensed in the dark.

Vallon's "Eyjafjallajokull" is an ode to Iceland's 2010 volcanic event, an eerie, subterranean soundscape full of brooding peril that seems at times—though it is acoustic, with a deep rumble then a shrill and oddly metallic whine of Moret's bass—like an electronically-sculpted sound.

Rruga is an exceptional ECM debut from the Colin Vallon Trio, a piano trio with a timeless sound.

Track Listing

Telepathy; Rruga; Home; Polygonia; Eyjafjallajokull; Merel; Iskar; Noreia; Ruga, var.; Fjord; Epilog.

Personnel

Colin Vallon: piano; Patrice Moret: double-bass; Samuel Roher: drums.

Album information

Title: Rruga | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records

Watch

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.


MUSICSTACK

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers

AMAZON

CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more

HD TRACKS

Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads

CD UNIVERSE

Specializing in music, movies and video games

REVERB

Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

More

Read Bluebeard
Bluebeard
Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet
Read Battle Lines
Battle Lines
Steve Fidyk
Read Calling
Calling
Anansi Trio
Read That Time
That Time
London Jazz Composers Orchestra
Read Day By Day
Day By Day
Cory Weeds
Read Silver Dollar
Silver Dollar
Jason Stein
Read Four Questions
Four Questions
Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra