Rene Bottlang


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Released a few months earlier, René Bottlang's solo CD signaled his comeback on the French jazz scene. For this, his second offering on the label AJMI Series, he teamed up with a very smooth and elegant rhythm section: drummer Samuel Silvant and bassist Guillaume Séguron (whose Witches project, as a quite surprising Police cover band, was AJMI Series' previous release). Bottlang plays smooth and mellifluous when the mood is pensive ("From My Window," "Scheinwerfer"), hard and choppy whenever the tempo picks up. Some will hear in that two-sided approach to the piano a cross between Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, others will get the impression that Bottlang has a hard time breathing louder dynamics into the music -- but that would require the disregard the vivacious title track altogether. The opener "From My Window" (plus a short reprise close to the end of the album) sets a Tristano-like mood, reflexive post-bop with a melodic twist. Follows a sequence of short to medium-length tunes, of which "Fin Novembre, Début Décembre" ("Late November, Early December") stands out, thanks to its chilly, ruminating setting. But the highlights are found in the longer pieces, like the 11-minute "Miro" and the 12-minute "Twelve Months." In these longer compositions, Bottlang truly showcases his emotional range while allowing Séguron and Silvant to step out of their supporting roles to participate more actively in the outcome. Trilongo is not a career-defining album, but it offers a fine, not-too-shocking listen.

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