Romain Pilon Trio "Falling Grace" featuring Jeff Ballard & Yoni Zelnik

Help to fund "Falling Grace", the first album of standards by guitarist Romain Pilon, featuring Jeff Ballard on drums.

Project visual Romain Pilon Trio "Falling Grace" featuring Jeff Ballard & Yoni Zelnik
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Romain Pilon Trio "Falling Grace" featuring Jeff Ballard & Yoni Zelnik

jazz&people presents Romain Pilon Falling Grace For the first time in a career full of excellent encounters, the guitarist Romain Pilon has focused on a program of standards and has exhumed some rare gems and other intimate jazz nuggets, accompanied by a master drummer, Jeff Ballard ; the result is an album of admirable plenitude, “Falling Grace”. Playing standards is too often the occasion for numerous musicians to show off their technique or it is a mere exercise de style that doesn’t really go anywhere. This is not the case with Romain Pilon, who waited until he felt he was ready to record an album of standards even if he has been playing them since he became a musician. The guitarist knows that playing these compositions is not a superficial exercise and that there is no reason to interpret them if he can’t find something new to express. To play a well-known standard without making it his own exposes the musician to playing without having anything to say or revealing himself as unable to rise to the heights of the masters who have left their stamp on these tunes which are part of the common heritage of jazz musicians. That is certainly not the case with this album. Whether tackling songs from American musicals or classics written by famous jazzmen, Romain Pilon was shrewd enough to pick unusual works, little-known compositions or rarities signed by Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis or Steve Swallow. It is another of the musician’s talents to have drawn these tunes from the bottomless well of jazz repertoire that the ear recognizes without being able to identify them at first. Romain Pilon has a knack for giving melodies new life and for showcasing compostions the listener is surprised not to have heard before. Another talent he demonstrates is for finding an original way of approaching each of these works, through the arrangement, the harmonization and the choice of tempo, so that they sound as fresh as new compositions. With the subtlety that characterizes him, Romain Pilon selected the standards for the album from different sources, and his choices reveal a lot about him. About his attachment to the foundations of bebop and to the importance of phrasing that typifies him, about his sensitivity to the poetic range and the lyricism of the free thinkers who have emerged in the orbit of the ECM label, about his assimilation of the great masters of the tradition of modern guitar, from Jim Hall to Pat Metheny and John Scofield, who have always exemplified the art of clear lines despite of the sophistication of their harmonic progressions. Playing without urgency and without excessiveness, Romain Pilon nevertheless sacrifices nothing to quality and to virtuosity. His digital fluency and the vivacity he demonstrates on a harmonic level propel him on a quest for limpidity and coherency that has impressed numerous musicians all over the globe and has enabled him to share the stage with world-class musicians : tenor players Walter Smith III (who has played on two of his previous albums) and Ben Wendel ; the drummer Brian Blade, in a trio founded with the bassist Jeff Denson ; the organist Sam Yahel whom he hired for a European tour, and the bassist Linda May Han Oh, who recently called on his talents, to cite but a few. Admired by other guitarists, Romain Pilon belongs to the category of musicians whose reputation is based on key values that this album fully highlights in the spare context of the trio format. The music blossoms with a subtle simplicity, the improvisations uncoil in full harmony, the rhythms are limpid and the atmospheres tinged with just the right colors to give them character. The presence of Jeff Ballard in this adventure is crucial : the elegance of his drumming, the pertinence of his rhythmic choices, the colors he draws from his drum kit, and an infinte variety of nuances and dynamics that contribute to the richness of the interpretations. His total implication in the recording is perceptible at every instant, with each drum beat. « Falling Grace » is one of those rare albums where each note seems in its place, where each phrase unfolds without ever becoming facile. The music evolves serenely, breathes, is heard with balance and elegance, reaching peaks and moments of radiance. Romain Pilon displays both his electric penchants and his lyrical sensitivity, his rhythmic solidness and his unfettered sense of phrasing, assuming the lento of a ballad with superlative class as much as he swings unfailingly. With a sound combining presence and sensitivity, a touch as sure as it is delicate, he has recorded an album that already sounds like a classic on first listening, and whose beauty is not exhausted with repeated listenings. Romain Pilon A instrumentalist with an imagination both rich and sophisticated, Romain Pilon has made his name as one of the most remarkable guitarists in France since his return in 2004. A graduate of Berklee College in Boston, he completed his studies with an encounter with Pat Metheny and a concert opening for him ; he co-directed a group with the tenor David Prez, and has led several of his own groups, the most recent of which is Copper with two keyboard players and saxophonist Seamus Blake as a special guest. A teacher active both in Europe and in the United States, he has recorded and toured in a trio with the great drummer Brian Blade. "Falling Grace" is his seventh album. Jeff Ballard Discovered by Chick Corea, a member of Brad Mehldau’s trio for over fifteen years now, Jeff Ballard is one of the elite jazz drummers. His busy career has included recordings with Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel, two guitarists who Romain Pilon admires. The way in which he combines the heritage of the great inventors of the language of jazz with non-European percussive traditions is one of his trademarks. Co-founder of the Fly trio with Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier, he has also founded the group Fairgrounds which includes musicians such as Lionel Loueke, Miguel Zenon, Chris Cheek and Reid Anderson. Yoni Zelnik He is a member of the groups of Florian Pellissier and of Philippe Soirat, of the Vintage Orchestra, and has participated in several of the trumpet player Avishai Cohen’s ensembles. Familiar to the French public through his collaborations with the singer Youn Sun Nah, the pianist Yonathan Avishai and the saxophonist Géraldine Laurent, Yoni Zelnik is one of the most in-demand bassists of his generation, offering a modern and vibrant synthesis of his instrument’s heritage. A couple of quotes from the international press about Romain Pilon: “Pilon naviguates through th emusic with superb assurance" — Jazz Times “A fast thinking musician with an acoustique inspired sound, bringing an enticing warmth" — JazzWise “Pilon's solo are never an excuse to show a forced virtuosity" — All About Jazz THE ALBUM 1. Falling Grace (Steve Swallow) 2. Textures (Herbie Hancock) 3. Side Car (Miles Davis) 4. Lament (J.J. Johnson) 5. Bye Ya (Thelonious Monk) 6. Interlude 7. Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim/Daniels/Tobias) 8. Golden Earrings (Victor Young/Ray Evans & Jay Livingstone) 9. By Myself (Arthur Schwarz & Howard Dietz) 10. Horace-Scope (Horace Silver) 11. Nicolette (Kenny Wheeler) Recorded and mixed at Studio de Meudon by Julien Bassères. Masterized par David Darlington, NYC. Graphic design : Olivier Linden, based on "PH-1039" (1977) by Clyfford Still.

Allocation of funds

At this point in time, the record is recorded, mixed and mastered. There's just one last step for it to see the light of day. For this to happen, we need your support. Imagined by the journalist and curator Vincent Bessières, jazz&people is a label that hosts creative musicians' projects and helps them grow with the help of crowdfunding (participative financing). He rallies music amateurs in a responsable manner that emphasizes the direct relationship between artists and the people that listen to them. This is why we are asking you for your generosity. The contributions collected will help to pay : - The SDRM (droits de reproduction mécanique des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs) : 1000€ - The mastering : 500€ - CD presssing (1000 copies) : 1200€ - Media album promotion : 3000€ - KissKissBankBank commisions : 300€ The funds collected go through jazz&people and will be 100% allocated to Romain Pilon's project (except the commisions taken by the plateforme). If the campaign succeeds, the album will be out in February 2022. The participants will receive their rewards in the days before, for them to discover an exclusive sneak peak before it comes out! WHAT IF... at the end of the campaign we have more than the desired amount ? Then we have even more ways to promote this music and make it visble to all. If we don't get to our goal ? Eveything will be lost ! With the musical streaming on the rise (which basically doesn't bring any money to the artists), funding music has become a difficult task. By helping us with your support, you are performing a political act as you are letting this record see the light of day without the artists having to take risks as they have already invested lots of time and money. Artists need us. But more than that, we need artists. Thank you in advance for your generosity.


Featured reward

Signed CD


  • 64 contributions
Exclusive CD copy of the album signed by Romain Pilon

Estimated delivery: March 2022

Full Download of the Album


  • 11 contributions
Exclusive download of the album



  • 22 contributions
Get an exclusive CD copy of the album

Estimated delivery: February 2022

Full Hi-Res Download of the Album


  • 9 contributions
Download the album in Studio Master quality

2 CD Pack "Copper"


  • 7 contributions
Romain Pilon's new album + "Copper" with Seamus Blake and Pierre de Bethmann as guests

2 CD Pack "NY3"


  • 7 contributions
Romain Pilon's new album + his album "NY3" recorded in New York with Matt Brewer (doublebass) and Colin Stranhan (drums)

2 CD Pack "The Magic Eye"


  • 4 contributions
Romain Pilon's new album + "The Magic Eye" with Ben Wendel and Walter Smith III as guests

Estimated delivery: March 2022

jazz&people Pack


  • 2 contributions
Romain Pilon's new album + an album of your choice from the jazz&people collection

CD + HD Pack


  • 9 contributions
Signed copy of the album + download the album in high quality

3 CD Pack


  • 3 contributions
Romain Pilon's new album + his album "Copper" + his album "The Magic Eye"

Discovery Pack


  • 1 contribution
Signed copy of the album + several playlists curated by Romain Pilon showing his influences and favorite songs of the moment

Live Pack


  • 9 contributions
Signed copy of the album + 1 invitation for the Paris release party

Sheet Music Pack


  • 5 contributions
A signed copy of the new album + a digital booklet of 8 original compositions by Romain Pilon

Class Pack (online)


  • 3 contributions
Signed copy of the album + 1 online guitar class with Romain Pilon (theme of your choice : improvisation, technique, etc..)

Lesson Pack


  • 3 contributions
Exclusive signed copy of the album + download the album in HD "Studio Masters" 24 bits format + in person guitar lesson with Romain Pilon (1h30)

2 Lessons Pack


  • 2 contributions
Exclusive signed copy of the album + download the album in HD "Studio Masters" 24 bits format + 2 online guitar lessons with Romain Pilon (1h30)

Duo Concert


Signed copy of the album + a private concert with a bass player (fee for travel outside IDF not included)

Trio Concert


Signed copy of the album + private concert of Romain Pilon Trio (fee for travel outside IDF not included)

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