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The beloved Django Bates

By Abigail Church |

The new album from the British pianist, released on ECM...

Django Bates will have waited until his 57th birthday to get his start as a leader at ECM. The British pianist, whose discography is already pretty wide (fifteen albums or so under his name, and sixty or so alongside Bill Bruford, Anouar Brahem, Sidsel Endresen, Billy Jenkins, Tim Berne, Hank Roberts and even as a part of Loose Tubes) relaunches for the occasion his trio Belovèd with the Swedish bass player Petter Eldh and the Danish drummer Peter Bruun. The two colleagues met several years ago at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen where Bates taught and with whom he has ascended with originality the mountain called Charlie Parker.

Released in 2010, Beloved Bird was the beautiful singular fruit born of this union, followed two years later by Confirmation. With a beautiful and free reinterpretation of Passport, Parker is less omnipresent on The Study Of Touch, recorded at the Rainbow Studio in Oslo in June 2016 and produced by Manfred Eicher. What hasn’t changed, however, is Django Bates’ singular point of view on the art of the piano/bass/drums trio. The Brit manages to provide a great freedom of tone while maintaining a true sturdiness of the links that bind him and his two accomplices. Reconciling avant-garde and fluidity with such virtuosity is a new proof of the talent of a musician whose aura could easily continue to grow…

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