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    Review by Ken Waxman, JazzWord, october 2014

    Playing an accepted lead instrument, Monaco-based pianist Henri Roger assembles a tripartite trio session on Parole Plongée. Self-taught and someone who has matched wits with accomplished improvisers such as bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Bruno Tocanne, Roger overcomes any restrictive rhythm section tendencies that could be exhibited by bassist Benjamin Duboc and drummer Didier Lasserre. A long-time rhythm duo, Duboc and Lasserre have backed sound explores like baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro in the past.
    With Duboc’s thick strumming as supple as it is stentorian, ringing staccato lines from the pianist are needed to wrench the impetus from the bassist on “Sables” following a Scott LaFaro-like thematic impetus. Yet Roger, who agreed to do this session after being contacted by the bassist who heard a solo piano invention on the internet, acquits himself with little strain. Almost immediately on this track, Roger outlines a parallel narrative which speedily locks in with Duboc’s theme upping the tension, while intensifying the swing. Tellingly it’s Roger’s soundboard rumble which creates the resounding climax. “Altermutations” verifies that the pianist can maintain this directness in balladic form. He contributes to this tremolo romp by melding passing chords, backed by Lesserre’s sizzle cymbals.
    Overall, though, the key track is the expansive “Ré-Horizontalisé”, which would make some figure this trio formation followed years of interaction. Balanced in each aspect, Roger’s modulation between impressionistic and impactful voicing connects easily with the others’ strategies, As Lasserre’s cymbal resonate, and Duboc displays tough string stops, Roger sparks the performance with excursions into the treble clef, quoting “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” for a split-second. Heartily appending contemporary Bop to the bassist and drummer’s more overt avant-gardisms, the three eventually create a showcase that’s powerfully unique without being frighteningly obtuse.
    Roger, Duboc and Lasserre have serendipitously come up with a notable addition to the Jazz piano trio literature. Plus Shipp, Parker and Cosgrove are assured in their improvisations as well. However in assessing Alternating Currents, one would hope that after this baptism by fire (music) the drummer would be more assured the next time he records with the others.
    — Ken Waxman JazzWord


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