Colin Vallon Trio ‘Danse’ (ECM) 3/5

Swiss-French pianist Colin Vallon has made a name for himself firstly with the independent Hatology label in 2007 for whom he recorded, ‘Ailleurs’, before debuting on ECM in 2011 with ‘Rruga’. This new album marks his third for the label and was recorded in Lugano with the young accompanists, Patrice Moret on double bass and Julian Sartorius on drums and follows on from, ‘Le Vent’, from 2014.The reposing opener, ‘Sisyphe’, has been receiving regular radio exposure and is by far the strongest piece on the album while, ‘Morn’, has a truly hypnotic quality that is endearing. Another beautifully flowing number that has something of a classical music influence is, ‘Tsunami’, with fine and sensitive drumming from Sartorius. In reality, leader Vallon has been influenced to a large extent by contemporary music that encompasses Ligeti as much as Monk, and he has equally soaked up the lefter-leaning pop hues of both Bjork and Radiohead. A minimalist approach surfaces on the repetitive riffs from the rhythm section on, ‘Tinguely’, composed by Moret.
If the album tapers off somewhat in the second half, then with greater experience and wisdom, the trio will undoubtedly add greater variety to tempi and improve their already excellent compositional skills and this is indeed hinted at on the somewhat chaotic intro to, ‘L’onde’. This writer also warmed to the gentle rambling of, ‘Kid’. A promising new recording from a young trio that is heading in the right direction.

Tim Stenhouse