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Moncef Genoud: Swiss Mister

Moncef Genoud

Though he already has nine acclaimed European releases, Moncef Genoud’s auspicious Stateside debut, Aqua (Savoy), is a fine introduction to the gifted Swiss pianist. Recorded in New York City in April 2004, Genoud’s 10th offering features the stellar rhythm tandem of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart on seven originals and three covers that showcase Genoud’s penchant for gentle lyricism, cascading legato lines and harmonic exploration, all of which strongly suggest the influence of Keith Jarrett. “He is definitely an important role model,” Genoud says. “And there are other influences too, which other people have already noted-Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, maybe Bill Evans. It’s all coming through.”

That Jarrettesque quality is evident on the pianist’s rhapsodic reading of “Moncef’s Mood,” while the trio’s high degree of interplay on the darkly lyrical opener, “Out of the Blue,” and a swinging, waltz-time interpretation of John Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice” conjure up comparisons to the classic Bill Evans trio. “When I played with them it just clicked,” says Genoud of his New York rhythm section. “On both the musical and person level, there was no question. We just sat down and-boom! It happened immediately.”

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