Romain Collin felt the need to stir things up. The French-born pianist and composer had devoted his career to honing his craft, earning full scholarships first to the Berklee College of Music and then to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he was part of an ensemble selected by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard. Working within the piano-trio format, Collin’s first three albums as a leader were ambitious, featuring songs frequently described as cinematic for their majestic heft.
Still, Collin didn’t believe that his work had adequately taken into account the broad swath of music he’d absorbed and wanted to express. Those constraints have been cast aside on Tiny Lights… (XM), an audacious and meticulous swirl of chamber-fusion jazz created with electric and acoustic instruments and released in three parts throughout April and May.