We know that pianist Stéphan Oliva is attentive to all forms of musical expression and that he likes to merge with a collective to engage in acts of spontaneous creation. He did so recently with the singer Suzanne Abbuehl and the Norwegian percussionist Hegg-Lunde for the magnificent album Princess. In the newly formed Orbit trio, he stays true to himself and to his inner voice.

At the heart the engine, we find the drumming of American Tom Rainey, who stimulates his partners and, like a sculptor with a chisel, pushes the pianist towards a raw and refined playing style. This is a music that moves in perpetual motion towards its fundamental form without a gimmick in sight. It’s not revolutionary, nor does it seek to limit itself to the sometimes path in the piano trio formula. Instead it becomes beautiful; simultaneously sweet and salty, embroiled in the tension between lyricism, rhythmic sting and harmonic subtlety. Both high-flying and earthly, its depth of sound and its profundity opens spaces for thought.

In “Around Ornette,” one of Stéphan Oliva’s seven compositions, Sébastien Boisseau seems to be following in the footsteps of bassist Charlie Haden.


Stéphan Oliva, Sébastien Boisseau, Tom Rainey – Orbit (Yolk Music)

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