There's something to be said for the classic jazz piano trio sound...in the case of Danse, the latest ECM Records release from acclaimed pianist Colin Vallon, he's got double-bassist Patrice Moret and drummer Julian Sartorius to help complete this familiar orientation. However, making your way through the album, you'll note that the trio have opted for less solo excursions normally associated with classic piano trios, instead focusing on the compositions and most importantly, the melodies. Sartorius and Moret are completely locked in on the dramatic "Tsunami", allowing Vallon to not only join them on the rhythms but also playing out the lead melody line. "Sisyphe" sees the trio working together equally for a brilliant, cohesive delivery, while the majestic "Smile" starts out tranquil and slowly builds to a daring crescendo. Again, lengthy flights of fancy are nowhere to be found, and the closest the trio gets to flexing their solo muscles happens on the quirky "L'Onde", where the manic interplay almost dips into 'free-jazz' zone. "Kid" is another winner, the sense of restraint shown by the group astounding, especially the leader Vallon, as he deftly lets his fingers coax out gentle melodies while his cohorts bubble and boil beneath him.
Classy is the one word that comes to mind to best describe Danse, an alluring, intoxicating, and intense collection of songs that surprisingly and thankfully doesn't veer off into endless piano, drum, and bass solos, instead focusing on song structure, mood, melody, and tight ensemble synergy between the three musicians. Job well done guys!
11 Reste (Var.)