Pays : United Kingdom Label : Edition Genres et styles : Contemporary Jazz / Jazz Année : 2020

Live in Paris, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

· par Steve Naud

On May 9, 2018, the young British keyboardist Elliot Galvin performed at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, opening for the American pianist Craig Taborn. At the time, he had no idea that this entirely improvised performance would lead to a commercially released album. It was upon hearing the recording of the concert, shortly afterwards, that he realized that he had the material for what would become his first solo piano recording. 

This was not Galvin’s first time, however. Over the past decade or so, he has released albums with his trio as well as with Dinosaur – a quartet that was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2017 – with whom he plays synthesizers.

In the liner notes that accompany the CD version of this album, Galvin thanks Craig Taborn, whom he calls “a constant source of inspiration”. No wonder. The two pianists are as comfortable behind the acoustic piano as they are with a bank of electronics, the possibilities of which they like to explore. Both draw as much from jazz as they do from contemporary music. Both of them are impressive virtuosos who are able to put the pedal to the metal, and yet display subtlety.

However, the comparison ends there. Elliot Galvin has an imagination and a vocabulary all his own. On Live in Paris, he’s just as happy to jump into accelerated free jazz (the stunning “So Below”) as he is into pure grace, as on the delicate “Broken Windows”. He even goes so far as to juxtapose baroque influences and vertiginous jazz spirals on “For J.S.”, one of the highlights of the recital. At the age of 28, Galvin shows a rare mastery of his art.

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