Skip to main content

Contemporary Jazz: Pianist Romain Collin New Release 'Press Enter' & NYC Dates Nov 27-29 2015


From a media release:

Pianist Romain Collin offers a bold reimagination of the piano trio on his new album with Luques Curtis and Kendrick Scott
Press Enter draws inspiration from the visual world, minimalism, folk music, and the wisdom of Wayne Shorter

"A visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world." - Jon Weber, NPR

Romain is performing music from this CD for three nights at The Iridium, New York City.  8:30 p.m. show November 27 - 29, 2015.

Buy/Sample the CD
Tickets for his shows at the Iridium


Two words can be enough to change an artist's life - especially when those words come from such an authority on art, life and the cosmos as Wayne Shorter. Such was the case when the legendary saxophonist shared a succinct but profound nugget of wisdom with pianist Romain Collin. Musing on people who spend their whole lives talking about plans, ideas, or dreams without ever seeming to take action, Shorter fell briefly silent before bursting out with an urgent commandment: "Press enter!"

"I started laughing, but I thought the wording was genius," recalls Collin, who had the unique opportunity to spend time gleaning advice and direction from both Shorter and Herbie Hancock while touring India and Vietnam with a band from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. "He encapsulated such a clear concept practically, intellectually and emotionally. It felt so compelling in just two words, that idea of doing something and not just conceptualizing it."

Collin took that advice to heart to such an extent that it provides the title for his third release as a leader, Press Enter, due out in the US on October 2, 2015 via ACT Music. The phrase offers not just a title, but a guiding mantra, as the French-born pianist vigorously seizes on his widely-varied inspirations to create an inventive and lyrical take on the piano trio tradition. For Collin, the freedom to follow his muse is so deeply rooted that even the potential of its being taken away provides a spark of inspiration: the profoundly moving "Event Horizon" incorporates the actual voices of wrongly incarcerated prisoners freed through the efforts of The Innocence Project.

Press Enter is Collin's second album recorded by his incredibly gifted trio with bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Kendrick Scott, following their acclaimed 2013 release The Calling. Both were fellow students of Collin's at the Berklee College of Music during the early '00s. "Kendrick is like a painter on the drums," Collin says. "You never hear a drummer when he plays; you just hear music. He's incredibly sensitive and has such width and depth in his knowledge of what he can express on that instrument. Luques is a great friend and he plays the bass like a bass should be played. Everything he plays feels really, really good and just the way it should to support the trio and the music."
Collin is an experienced composer of film music with multiple orchestral soundtrack credits to his name, so it should come as no surprise that he draws upon the visual world when dreaming up his music. There's no one-to-one correspondence between a piece of art or environment that he responds to and a particular composition; it's simply Collin's method of tapping into the rich vein of human expression.

"I follow a totally indirect route to inspiration," he explains. "I feel that the music is already there, I just need to unearth it. The way I figure that out is to expose myself to a lot of stimuli, a lot of art. I'll watch movies, go to museums, drive around and look at scenery, watch people and the city, listen to a ton of music that's not particularly related to what I create. Any human endeavor that stems from a very strong and singular vision will help in the compositional process."

One thread that runs through the pieces on Press Enter is the concept of a repeating, pulse-like, almost obsessive ostinato, a musical theme that recurs in different permutations on multiple tracks. It's there in the nervous, Steve Reich-influenced minimalism of "99," the frantic texture underlying "Clockwork," the strident bass lines of "Webs," or the aching heartbeat of "Raw, Scorched and Untethered." The latter, inspired by a painful break-up, uses that insistent throb to undergird a hauntingly romantic theme evoking a rock-era Rachmaninoff. It also swells ominously in "The Line (Dividing Good And Evil Cuts Through The Heart Of Every Human Being)," which draws its title from a quote by writer/philosopher Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The same obsessive rhythmic idea spreads throughout the entire trio on "The Kids," which features a simple three-note melody whistled by master pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, who often utilizes whistling in his own work.

Check it out:



Collin pairs this fascination with minimalist precision with a love for simple, expressive melody. This is most obvious on tunes like "San Luis Obispo," which paints a portrait of the California city the New York Times called "The Happiest Place in America" with a heartfelt, folk-like melody. It's also represented in the trio's intimate, wistful interpretation of Bon Iver's "Holocene." Lastly, it emerges in the elegiac gospel inflections of Collin's solo take on Monk's immortal "'Round Midnight," which closes the album. "Event Horizon" brings the album to an emotional climax with a simple, mournful tune (supplemented by crucial contributions from vocalist Megan Rose and cellist Laura Metcalf) framing the tragic stories of prisoners freed from decades-long jail terms or death sentences by the Innocence Project, the non-profit organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongly convicted with DNA evidence.

Collin came to the US to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied performance with the likes of Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano while majoring in Music Synthesis. In 2007, the pianist graduated from the Monk Institute, where he not only toured with Hancock and Shorter and shared the stage with artists such as Marcus Miller, Jimmy Heath, and Terence Blanchard, but also studied with Larry Goldings, Russell Ferrante, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller and Wynton Marsalis.

In 2009, Collin released his first effort as a leader, The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn (Fresh Sound), a work described by All About Jazz as "an astonishingly mature and ambitious debut that secures Collin a placeholder in the continuing evolution of the grand tradition of the piano trio" (Phil DiPietro). His second record, The Calling (Palmetto, 2012) was described by the Washington Post as "distinctly personal and creative" (Mike Joyce) and hailed by The Revivalist as an album that "presents listeners with a work of art that is worthy of being held onto for generations to come" (Eric Sandler).

While touring internationally as a leader, Romain continues to explore various musical genres as a sideman, performing and/or recording alongside artists such as Mike Stern, John McLaughlin, Christian McBride, Gregoire Maret, Lauryn Hill, Tim Green or Joe Sanders. Collin has also composed orchestra scores for motion pictures including Ombline de la Grandiere's five-part 2014 documentary Le Bresil par la Cote, Vlada Subotic's About Me (2010), Gleb Osatinski's award-winning Pisces of an Unconscious Mind (2011), The House at the Edge of The Galaxy (2013) and The Quantified Self (2015), Yaara Sumeruk's Ringo (2012) and Parliamo Italiano (2013) and Lauren Fritz's Gallina (2015).

www.romaincollin.com

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( www.tribecastan.tv ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so