CD Review: Baptiste Trotignon (HIT/Naïve)

There is an overwhelming sense of joy and playfulness in this latest album by French pianist Baptiste Trotignon, who has never sounded better.

Perhaps it’s the recurring company on this all-original outing: the big tone and melodic voice of French compatriot Thomas Bramerie on bass, and the tuneful ears, experience and technique of American drummer Jeff Ballard.

Ballard gives just the right touch to enhance and accentuate the verve in Trotignon dynamics, as he has done so effectively with pianist Brad Mehldau. Trotignon roams over the keyboard with purposeful abandon on the tone poem Choral, closing with a revisit to that theme.

Abracadabra is a more percussive and up-tempo excursion, more rhythmically complex, while Paul is lyrical in varying tempi and modes, with even an Eleanor Rigby reference! It defies definition.

This CD is a lot of fun to listen to and an uplifting musical session. (BNP Paribas Foundation helped finance the recording.)

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