Grand Pianoramax can be considered a “supergroup” which balances three strong musical personalities, each possessing outstanding mastery of his craft: the acute lyricism of Leo Tardin‘s keyboards, the immediate intimacy of Black Cracker‘s wild poetry, and the powerful, razor-sharp and pugnacious drums of Dom Burkhalter. The virtues of this rare alloy illuminate each of their concerts, which led the trio to perform all around the globe. Indeed, Grand Pianoramax went on a 10-city tour across the USA and performed at major festivals such as the Tokyo Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon in New York, Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul, Jazz à Vienne and Paléo Nyon Festival to name a few.
With four albums and two vinyls under its belt released internationally on ObliqSound, this supergroup founded by Geneva-based pianist Leo Tardin launched in the spring 2015 their new EP, “Big Easy”, which was also the fruit of their debut collaboration with Mental Groove Records. It was followed in the fall 2015 (World except France) / spring 2016 (France) by “Soundwave” the fifth full-length album.
Staying true to its instantly recognizable signature sound at the confluence of post-jazz, art rock and hip-hop, “Big Easy” and “Soundwave” represent a new step in the ambitious artistic path of the trio. As opposed to the previous opuses, they are characterized by a more DIY and less polished production, which better reflects the spontaneity of the trio in concert.
Recorded between Zürich at the studio / anti-atomic bunker of Dom Burkhalter and Berlin, the new pieces take a “more laid-back, less dark, resolutely dancing and funky” approach says Leo Tardin. So is the warm and nonchalant groove of “Big Easy”, followed by the catchy repetitive pattern of “Lovely Day”, two pieces appearing on both the EP and the LP. “Soundwave” sees additional vocals tracks along the same vein, completed by a few evocative, yet firmly groove-oriented instrumental pieces showcasing yet again the versatility of the group.