Cadence - November 2003 - Autumn Circle

Jean-Christophe Cholet is a French pianist whose approach to the instrument has a welcome clarity; he plays with a fleet, unfussy grace and poise that can suggest Kenny Barron at his airiest. For all the articulate freedom of their flights over the keyboard his improvisations always feel like they are following the contours of the song closely (as well they might: the pieces are all his own, except the collective improvisation “Pyz”). His business isn’t to seize a piece and wrest it into a new shape; it’s to elucidate its inner form and sound. There are no assertive or sharp-edged gestures – Cholet, Känzig and Papaux work together with a harmoniousness that goes undisrupted throughout; yet the players avoid the besetting blandness of much piano-trio music. No gesture here is conclusive or merely pretty: if there are no striking leaps in the music, there’s always a sense of its leading on, tugging gently at the ear. Cholet’s compositions embody this sensibility: the end of the written head is almost never demarcated firmly by a melodic formula or strong chord resolution; one chorus leads naturally to another without the seams showing. Elegant, satisfying piano-trio music, Autumn Circle will reward aficionados of the genre.

 

Nate Dorward

Swissdisc -   01 – 06 - 2004 - Autumn Circle


The French pianist Jean-Christophe Cholet who has already been heard on several Altrisuoni releases together with Claudio Pontiggia, makes a debut with his own new trio. With this new role he combines the strong expressiveness and refined ideas, together with the accurate and subtle rhythmical tones of Heiri Känzig and Marcel Papaux. Cholet may be placed next to the excellent breed of European pianists who manage to combine the essence of Evans' tradition to the freshness of purely melodic themes. The compositions are also quite extraordinary: he invests in the improvisations studied in every progression, which produce fresh, appealing and overwhelming music.