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Colin Vallon Trio: Rruga

The new CD simply entitled Rruga from the Colin Vallon Trio was released May 10th on ECM Records. It should not be surprising that this is another fine album for the label that has consistently put out great albums since 1969. Samuel Rohrer (drums) and Patrice Moret (double-bass) joined Vallon in 2004. Rruga takes the fine art of subtlety to the next level. The label's motto – "the most beautiful sound next to silence" is a perfect description of the music found on Rruga.

The trio plays together exceptionally well and each musician compliments the other in subtle yet profound ways. This album is not a vehicle for solos or excessive showmanship although all three players are very talented and the playing is very good. Vallon's piano is integral to the trio's sound as each song bears his somewhat somber and stark passages. There are many beautiful melodies found throughout the disc but he also stretches out musically, venturing into improvisation and more dissonant tones.

There are no weak songs so picking out highlights is difficult but a few did stick out more than others. In the album's first song "Telepathy", stark piano chords develop out of the silence with a pretty melody and a relaxed slow tempo. The drums eventually become more involved and build in complexity. In the title track melancholic piano lines flow gently through light cymbal taps. The musicians show tremendous restraint before the playing borders on the chaotic, especially the piano, while still retaining the melody. The sparsely arranged "Polygonia" is another moody offering that reminded me of the theme to The Exorcist although the melody really sounds nothing like the Mike Oldfield classic. Perhaps it is the starkly ethereal mood conveyed. In the lovely "Meral" the piano melody is slightly disjointed with dissonant tones of melancholia. In the gentle "Noreia" layers of piano build the song and Vallon is at his melodic best.

Special mention must be made of the production by ECM founder Manfred Eicher; it is exceptional and the record sounds great.

This is not an upbeat record but one to relax to and totally immerse yourself within the music. Rruga is an excellent work of art that all fans of jazz will want to hear.

Track Listing:
1. Telepathy
2. Rruga
3. Home
4. Polygonia
5. Eyjafjallajökull
6. Meral
7. Iskar
8. Noreia
9. Rruga, var.
10. Fjord
11. Epilog

Added: June 5th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1991
Language: english

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