From Squarepusher to Reich: Swiss Post-Jazz Trio Plaistow
Johann Bourquenez, Vincent Ruiz and Cyril Bondi
A group whose members take it for granted that each individual operates on an equal creative level, Plaistow – who took their name, which is that of a district of London, from a track on a Squarepusher LP – are among the most compelling of the many piano trios to have sprung up in the wake of Brad Mehldau, Esbjörn Svensson and the Necks[/. More than 300 concerts on tour in Europe, Russia, Japan and India have allowed them to develop an authentic and even stubborn individuality, using inspiration from many sources but focusing all their influences (including certain elements of jazz and minimalism) down to a clearly defined identity, one that is, in Duke Ellington’s phrase, beyond category.
In these live performances they explore new dimensions of four pieces from Titan, their previous album, whose 14 tracks were inspired by and named after the moons of Saturn. Carefully calibrated but with no shortage of human emotion, the compositions range from the pulsating dynamism of “Hyperion” to the patient understatement of “Helene”, whose typically luminous ending sums up their gift for drama and surprise. This is a great time for piano trios, but there really isn’t another one quite like Plaistow.