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Wayne Shorter's Advice to Pianist Romain Collin Results in 'Press Enter,' ACT Music (REVIEW)

By Mike Greenblatt m.greenblatt@classicalite.com on Dec 26, 2015 12:20 PM EST

French pianist Romain Collin came to America to attend Berklee, graduate from the Monk Institute and tour internationally with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Now, on his third CD as a leader, Press Enter (ACT Music), Collin fuses his jazz with a rock sensibility by use of his heavy-handed drummer Kendrick Scott (Scott and bassist Luques Curtis are both former students of his and comprise a trio that debuted in 2013 with The Calling). Collin is a composer of orchestral scores for eight European movies. His tendency for utilizing ostinato occurs throughout the CD, be it the nervous minimalism of "99," the frantic "Clockwork" or the human heartbeat sound of "Raw, Scorched and Untethered."

He interprets Bon Iver's "Holocene" with no accompaniment whatsoever, turning it into an elegant solo statement (the other solo track is his take on Monk's "'Round Midnight.") Yet he's not above adding vocals and cello to "Event Horizon," where you can actually hear the spoken words of ex-convicts falsely imprisoned before being freed by the work of The Innocence Project. The title of "The Line (Dividing Good And Evil Cuts Through The Heart Of Every Human Being") is a quote from Russian philosopher Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Collin was sitting with the legendary Shorter backstage in Vietnam as the elder pontificated upon how many friends and associates failed to act on the projects they were once so excited about. Shorter paused, looked up at the youngster, and just said, "press enter." Collin laughed, almost out of nervousness, not knowing what he meant at first. Since then, those two words have reverberated around his brain. Now he knows.

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TagsRomain Collin, ACT Music, REVIEW, Wayne Shorter