Aron's blue notes
Who is this Aron Ottignon, the remarkable co-writer of "Papaoutai" by Stromae?
Blending jazz, electro, Caribbean percussion and music from down under with such ease proves the high level of musicality that Aron Ottignon possesses. The young, award-winning New Zealand pianist avoids all the clichés of the child prodigy on his first album, which carries his name and was released by the prestigious Blue Note label. Pupil of the pianist Andrew Hill (whose greatest discs were incidentally released by Blue Note in the 60s), he focuses on assembling everything that fascinates him, let it be pure jazz, repetitive music or sounds coming from all over the world. At the end of it, we’re rather astounded by this Team Aquatic when we realize that we listened to traditional Peruvian music as well as motifs inspired by a trip to Reunion Island rhythmed by kayamba, electronic slates and thousands of other things.
Probably the product of many trips and many encounters for Aron Ottignon, whether it was touring with Woodkid, freelancing for Abd Al Malik or even for Stromae with which he co-wrote the hit Papaoutai!
Now dividing his time between Paris and Berlin, Ottignon has recorded Team Aquatic there with producers Paul “Seiji” Dolby and Rodi Kirk, and it’s a fascinating instrumental piece of work that combines the ambition of jazz, pop melodies, world echoes and electronic effects.
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The Berlin Recital (Live at Philharmonie, Berlin, 2018) Yuja Wang Gramophone Editor's Choice