A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, New York-based Romain Collin has had the great fortune of working with the likes of jazz legends Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. While Shorter and Hancock are some of the giants of fusion and crossover jazz, Collin opts for a much more distilled purity in his work and his dexterity with the piano showcases an erudite skill matched only by the discerning emotions that forge the bulk of his songwriting. Collin’s sophomore release, The Calling, is an album of warm crystalline beauty and the musician’s playing traverses a delicate line between a lush sea-bath swirl of scales and spiked, meditative crescendo highs. You can hear all of that in this clip, featuring a rendition of two of the numbers from the album, “Storm” and the title-track, performed live at Rockwood in New York. The short burst of “Storm” introduces the band before segueing into the next number (the album’s title-track) where Collin works an elegantly serpentine melody, circling around the nuanced underpinnings of Luques Curtis’ double bass and the crisp drumming of Kendrick Scott, executed with economy and restraint. The scales explore a haunted, intuitive search and the resonance and tension of the piece expands more and more as the number slowly builds toward the nine-minute mark. In no way is this pop music, but Collin has found a way to make his brand of jazz just as immediate – and instantly gratifying.
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