Bruno Heinen Trio, Out of Doors

Bruno Heinen, last heard with the elegant Kino trio, here alternates between piano and Fender Rhodes with Andrea Di Biase (Hidden Seas) on bass and Gene Calderazzo of Partisans on drums. Inspired by Bartók (particularly 8 Improvisations on …

Published: 1 Jun 2020. Updated: 17 months.

Bruno Heinen, last heard with the elegant Kino trio, here alternates between piano and Fender Rhodes with Andrea Di Biase (Hidden Seas) on bass and Gene Calderazzo of Partisans on drums.

Inspired by Bartók (particularly 8 Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs Op. 20), Duke Ellington, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Ligeti and Ravel on eight movements spread over eight tracks, Heinen has in the past 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 classical composers in his work.

Heinen has great imagination at the keyboard and manages to create a world of his own around him. The piano trio format suits him best of all and Calderazzo knows how to inject the drama that Heinen needs while Di Biase has a dreamier role, occasionally breaking free in sometimes desultory fashion to allow Heinen momentarily to settle back. A must for piano trio fans.

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Benjamin Moussay, Promontoire

Last we heard from Benjamin Moussay was on Louis Sclavis masterpiece Characters on a Wall. He seizes the day on this very beautiful album. Born in 1973 he studied classical piano at the Strasbourg Conservatoire and later jazz, composition and …

Published: 30 May 2020. Updated: 17 months.

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Last we heard from Benjamin Moussay was on Louis Sclavis masterpiece Characters on a Wall. He seizes the day on this very beautiful album. Born in 1973 he studied classical piano at the Strasbourg Conservatoire and later jazz, composition and musical arrangement at the Paris Conservatoire. His sideman work includes appearances with Louis Sclavis, Archie Shepp and others. Moussay has also accompanied one of the biggest global jazz singer stars, Youn Sun Nah. This new solo piano album has a real candour to it, the melodies sparkle and yet there is depth beyond the attractive themes. The performances floats in its own space, captioning this in one style or another makes little sense, how 'jazz' or not it is really depends on how strict a definition you set yourself. Personally I don't really see Promontoire as an obvious jazz album although there are definite flavours that circulate ('Théa' at the end is perhaps closest). The best tracks for me are opener '127', 'Villefranque' and in the reward-laden tentativeness of 'Sotto Voce' but this is an album that holds the attention throughout. Out now on ECM.