jazz&people, the leading French crowdfunded jazz label, is proud to present Romain Pilon’s Copper, an ideal title for the conductor from which cables are made, and which sets the tone for this high-energy trio propelled by groove with a capital G and electric fusions.
After three albums whose atmospheres were more acoustic, including "The Magic Eye" with Ben Wendel and Walter Smith III, which showed his contemporary and dynamic appropriation of tradition and his allegiance to the current movement heralding the resurgence of the guitar on the New York and Paris jazz scenes, Romain Pilon is now expanding his musical universe through the more eclectic Copper project.
Reconnecting with his teenage influences, the guitarist has conjured a repertoire that he had in fact never played before, and which reveals an unexpected aspect of his talent. Using an array of pedals and effects which broaden his musical palette, he reinjects into his music memories of Led Zeppelin, the experimentations of Herbie Hancock in his Headhunters period, the atmospheric fusions of Weather Report, and the electric brutalism of Miles Davis during his 1970’s "electric years"… all the while listening intently to contemporary musicians such as the English singer Laura Mvula, the Australian group Hiatus Kaiyote or the prodigy Taylor McFerrin.
With Copper, he also shows allegiance to the movement incarnated by various musicians he rubbed shoulders with at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, with whom he performed on the stage and with whom he shares a certain spirit, such as Christian Scott, Lionel Loueke, Kendrick Scott or Esperanza Spalding, who strive to anchor jazz in the present.
Assuming his desire to play groove music and his dreams of sonic fusions, a quest for playful metrics and unexpected textures, Romain Pilon has come up with an unusual trio format, one without a bassist, and founded on an axis constituted by various keyboards (Fender Rhodes piano with effects, analogic synthesizers) played by Tony Paeleman, the new and highly in-demand specialist (Vincent Peirani’s Living Being, Anne Paceo’s Circles, The Watershed, etc), and Fred Pasqua’s drumming, whose busy and complex playing gives the trio an irresistible dynamic.
Faithful to his concept of a clear approach to playing, emphasizing the melodic quality of his inspiration, Romain Pilon, who was encouraged when graduating from Berklee by none other than Pat Metheny himself, asserts a more biting style of playing in this context, with flashes of electricity, and suffused with vibrations that make Copper a new high-energy chapter in the career of a musician who has fulfilled his early promise and now has an international audience.
The album features two special guests, musicians who also have the twinfold culture of jazz and groove, of acoustic and electric playing : the American saxophonist Seamus Blake, a former partner of John Scofield, co-founder of Bloomdaddies with his alter ego Chris Cheek, and who has an impressive maestria when it comes to locking into a groove; and the French pianist Pierre de Bethmann who, exclusively on piano, confronts with his exceptional sense of melody the electric keyboards of Tony Paeleman. Both find their role naturally in the universe of Copper, evolving with ease in this highly-charged sonic environment.
From the press:
"Something new that one can’t fail to notice." - Télérama
"Fluidity and clarity, modern playing in the best sense of the word… Romain Pilon’s approach gets to the heart of the matter." - Jazz Magazine
"An alluring sensitivity and a profound poetry." - France Musique
"Romain Pilon’s guitar playing is without doubt the most subtle to be heard on the jazz scene in the past few years." - Qobuz
1. Bibou featuring Seamus Blake
3. Four Moons featuring Pierre de Bethmann
6. The Quiet Ones featuring Seamus Blake
7. Poppish featuring Pierre de Bethmann
8. Dear Wayne featuring Seamus Blake
All compositions by Romain Pilon
Romain Pilon guitar
Fred Pasqua drums
Tony Paeleman Fender Rhodes, Bass Synth, Keyboards
Pierre de Bethmann piano on 4 and 7
Seamus Blake tenor sax on 1, 6 et 8