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With the album “Initio“, the trio of young virtuoso pianist Mark Priore pays an elegant tribute to the history of jazz, with a light touch and a number of pretty surprises. Dave Brubeck, Alice Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Tom Jobim, Ahmad Jamal and McCoy Tyner are never far away.

Et la Grande Musique que l’on appelle classique et qui est antérieure au jazz également son étoile -le compositeur british Georg Friedrich Haendel- qui brille de sa verve baroque dans le firmament de Mark Priore.

Based on such references, the young pianist, a brilliant graduate of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and encouraged by the excellent pianist Alfio Origlio, takes us by the hand and the feelings, never letting go until we’ve listened to all ten compositions on the album.

He is surrounded by one of the most gifted young Parisian drummers of his generation, Elie Martin-Charrière, as well as a discovery (for us at least), the young Chilean double bassist Juan Villarroel Encina. A trio of young wolves as effective as they are enthusiastic. They are as complicit as they are gifted.

All the compositions are original and remarkably well-written. They combine good-natured lyricism with the most authentic swing.

We were already impressed by Mark Priore’s playing at the showcase we organized in May 2023, at La Seine Musicale’s Couleurs Jazz Club. He duetted with singer Pamela Beroff, from the Jazz Eleven label. Giovanni Mirabassi, the label’s artistic director and founder, had been talking about Mark Priore for some time.

What particularly appealed to me about him,” he says, “and prompted me to sign him to Jazz Eleven, was the purity of his musical approach. Everything is designed to serve the work, and the virtuoso, however brilliant, never takes precedence over the musician. The first time I heard him, I was more than impressed by the quality of his playing. It was all there: perfect mastery of the instrument, a powerful and precise sound, an elegant harmonic approach, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition yet resolutely modern, an exuberant and racy phrasing, set to the groove with the precision of a goldsmith”.

This is one of the revelation albums of 2023, with a strong, resolute aesthetic that shows that modern jazz is constantly recreating itself and offering singular interpretations capable of winning over a wide audience.

Mark Priore is a virtuoso pianist, but one who doesn’t show off, and one to be discovered as a matter of urgency or followed closely over the next few years. What’s more, the man is endearing.

The album is nominatif  « Prix Évidence 2023 », by l’Académie du Jazz, Awarded for an outstanding new recording, to be released from anonymity.

Line up:

Mark Priore: piano and compositions

Elie Martin-Charrière: drums

Juan Villarroel Encina: double bass

Initio pas released by the label Jazz Eleven, on October 27, 2023.

the album is since Couleurs Jazz Radio. “Selection” 

It was one of the 12 best international jazz albums released in October 2023.

(Best of the Month by Couleurs Jazz).

©Photo Header Patrick Martineau.

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