CD Review: Bruno Heinen’s Dialogues Trio (feat. Julian Siegel) – Twinkle Twinkle

Bruno Heinen’s Dialogues Trio (feat. Julian Siegel) – Twinkle Twinkle (Babel BDV 1192. CD Review by Tom Gray)

London-based pianist Bruno Heinen formed his Dialogues Trio with bassist Andrea Di Biase and drummer Jon Scott in 2005, yet it has taken until now for them to release an album. The long gestation period has paid off with some cohesive, mature ensemble playing and a refreshingly simple concept at the album’s heart – a set of pieces based on the theme of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’.

The nursery rhyme is sliced and diced into fragments, deftly interwoven by the Guildhall alumnus into a suite of compositions which take in a broad vista of styles and some unexpected lurches of direction. ‘Waltz for Rossie’ is a contemporary take on the urbane, conversational approach of the Bill Evans trio, contrasted on ‘Spins Wins’ with a jagged stop-start theme giving way to uninhibited free-bop. ‘Venus’ begins with an EST-like hook which soon dissolves into a rubato reverie, while ‘Jumping Rocks’ is based around an infectious 6/8 Afro-Cuban groove with the theme material serving as a bass-line.

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Special guest Julian Siegel makes an outstanding contribution, echoing the primal cry of Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet and bringing something of Wayne Shorter’s enigma on tenor saxophone. Heinen, meanwhile, is a cool-headed and resourceful improviser with a beguiling touch, favouring slow-burning legato lines over overt displays of chops.

This is a striking debut that marks out Heinen’s ensemble to be far more than just another piano trio.

The launch of Twinkle Twinkle is at Rich Mix on April 10th. For other tour dates see www.brunoheinen.com

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