Monday, November 9, 2020

Francois Lana Trio, Cathedrale


Pianist Francois Lana and his trio are happy discoveries for me, via their recent album Cathedrale (Leo Records CD 884). This is in the Free-but-swinging Jazz zone, a nicely together threesome that includes bassist Fabien Iannone and drummer Phelan Burgoyne. There are compositional highs like Lana's "Nocturne" with its haunting reflection and pulsation, it's additive synth melodic qualities that enhance then subtract in a most economic way. Or "Der Turm," equally memorable but in a different way.

The rhythm team can tumble on or loosely lock into a swing but they are ever complementary to Lana for each piece. The mood can have a bit of a Paul Bley/earlier Cecil Taylor buoyancy or at times cut through to the stratosphere for a time. 

What is so nice about it all is Lana's obvious savoring of the Early Free tradition and his significant contribution to it as a present-day originality. There is a shifting mélange of creative paths, patches, ways to make us experience a spectrum of avant piano trio moods. It is in the end an impressive offering that one increasingly appreciates. 

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