Versatility is difficult to pair with coherence. And yet this is done in the music of French born pianist Romain Collin’s trio, featuring bassist Luques Curtis (Christian Scott, Eddie Palmieri) and drummer Kendrick Scott (Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper). Streaming on Nextbop for the next week, you will find the Palmetto debut album of this trio, The Calling.
What you might mean by versatility has to do with the far extremities of style that the musician might reach to. According to NPR, his "The Calling", is "equal parts Rachmaninoff and Radiohead". There is truth in this statement, considering his classical training throughout his youth before spending some time in Berklee and at the prestigious Monk Institute. And beyond that, his style fluctuates between the borderline minimalist and the harmonically rich.
The trio has been praised as an extremely energetic band. A listen to “Runner’s High” will show just to what extent this energy is a sort of a glue to the stunning versatility heard throughout the album, with all of its very controlled, synchronized dynamics. “Pennywise the Clown” is another particularly energetic track, bringing the trio together, musically, into a whole. And so, an energetic trio complements a versatile pianist. The album is a rush of blood to the head.
Marc Antunes is a student, writer, and critic. Follow him on Twitter.