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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Pianist Spike Wilner, a mainstay of New York club The Smalls and its destiny, continues his trio visits with a new album featuring a particularly feverish right hand. 

A heady right hand and the tinkling of a metronomic cymbal begin this recording. We’re immediately immersed in rigorous, vigorous jazz at the service of meticulous writing.

Complex melodies and interlacing rhythms punctuate this album, which is somewhat different from the pianist’s previous releases. More searching and expressive, this album is best reserved for fans of the piano-bass-drums trio.

Recorded in a single take over the course of an afternoon, the surprising equipment suggests a great deal of complicity in the undertaking.

The track Koan reveals the pianist’s writing and interpretative skills, with long percussive phrases supported by the shimmering play of cymbals, very present on the album, and a double bass part that is very quick with the bow. At the other end of the spectrum is a more relaxed, more subdued version of Poor Butterfly, which plays on the division of time.

The leader’s playing evokes harmonic innovations, alternating the temporality of the measures with a few pianistic audacities in a constant quest for inventiveness (If You Are But A Dream). You might be forgiven for thinking that this could be a Wilnerian repertoire, with accents that are sometimes unusual, but which render a jazz perfectly mastered by this high-flying trio.

Between a revisited respect for a certain form of academicism (Lullaby of the Leaves) and the discovery of new sonic paths (Mind Games), the listening experience is strengthened by the richness of the discourse.

Line Up:

Spike Wilner – piano

Paul Gill – doublebass

Anthony Pinciotti – drums

Contrafactus was released by the label Cellar Jazz Records,  on March 15, 2024.

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