Blessed with an outrageous technique that translates into scintillating performance Bruno Heinen skyrocketed to the top of the UK jazz piano firmament in recent years initially on the Babel label. Now he has signed to Martin Hummel's Ubuntu label and ushers in his band The W which features superb Cinematic Orchestra singer Heidi Vogel in the line-up for his first outing on the London label the EP Live at Kings Place. With Bruno and Heidi are bassist Andrea di Biase and drum star Gene Calderazzo known for his sterling work with the now disbanded cult jazz-rock outfit Partisans.
Look for the Kings Place recording in April. Tunes are Heinen's. If you're new to the pianist check out last year's trio release Out of Doors on which di Biase and Calderazzo also appeared, Heinen alternating between piano and Fender Rhodes inspired by Bartók, Duke Ellington, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Ligeti and Ravel on eight movements spread over eight tracks. In the past the London-based player has turned his attention to Stockhausen and Vivaldi and established his own presence more broadly speaking within the prism of a post Bill Evans-type impressionistic universe while drawing on such ''classical'' composers in his work. With him expat American Calderazzo – brother of famed Branford Marsalis pianist Joey Calderazzo – who has lived in the UK for many years knows how to inject the drama that Heinen needs while Di Biase has a dreamier role usually. Tracks on the EP coming up are 'Snowed In With Cedar Walton,' 'Snake River' and 'Her Song' (see the video above) the last of these written for Bruno's wife and daughter. The EP is the first of two releases planned for Ubuntu. Bruno Heinen photo: George Nelson