The artist's job: Find your voice. The Montreal-based Emie Rioux Roussel
Trio has spent ten years at the endeavor, one that has taken the group to Japan, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Estonia, garnering many prestigious award nominations along the way. The music on Rythme de Passage
, the group's fifth album release, displays sharply-defined vision, a distinctive twenty-first century piano trio voice.
Putting the originality of the sound aside, influences on the trio's approach, beginning with "Yatse Club," seem European: Tord Gustavsen
, via oblique melodies and sometimes drifting, sometimes insistent rhythms; Esbjorn Svensson
's E.S.T. for the electro-sparkleRoussel uses, often, a Nord Stage 2 keyboard. Bassist Nicolas Bédard
is also plugged in. Looking to the U.S. jazz scene, the compositions on Rythme de Passage
lean in the direction of Brad Mehldau
's early tunesmithing, with circular motifs and understated intensity.
The set's title tune begins with a ruminative piano statement which gathers momentum and grandeur, with Dominic Cloutier's bursting cymbal splashes giving way to a tight, tart bass solo. "Agent Orange" is prickly and agitated, glistening, shifting into a rock-like groove, while "Tatiata" has perhaps the set's prettiest, most passionate vibe, and "Empriente" begins by looking inward, before shifting to bright and optimistic gregariousness.
With a decade of playing and recording together, the Emie R. Roussel Trio has developed a distinctive and exciting modern piano trio approach, on full display on Rythme de Passage
Yatse Club; Rythme de Passage; Agent Orange; Maltagliati; Taniata; Est; Loners; Empreinte;