Alongside his scintillating Grand Pianoramax project, fuelled by a decade of cosmopolitan energy gathered in New York, Berlin or Mumbai, keyboard purveyor Leo Tardin delivers his first solo piano album: DAWNSCAPE (2014), produced in collaboration with the Montreux Jazz Festival. On the edge of intimate, inspired by journeys and encounters both long term and ephemeral, this Swiss musician steps out into the daylight with his new oeuvre.
Presented live at the 2014 editions of the Cully Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival, the nine pieces appearing on DAWNSCAPE are as much unpublished solstices in Leo Tardin’s trajectory as they are interior landscapes brushed by the freedom of jazz, an obvious folk reference and the fluidity of impressionism.
Leo Tardin talks about DAWNSCAPE:
DAWNSCAPE is the contraction of “dawn” and ” landscape “. Like a desire to immerse oneself in the fragility of the breaking dawn, to capture the vanishing night, to give space to the moment, the ephemeral, the light. Music has this power.
I’ve been carrying this project around with me for several years and is something that used to simply belongs to my private sphere. I sit at my instrument, either at home or in a temporary setting, and I lay my mood down in a sequence of chords or in a melodic line. I had kept them all inside me up until DAWNSCAPE. Today I feel ready to share the fruits of these moments.
I often fall in love. In love with people, towns, moments. They act as catalysts, sensory openings that put me in a state that’s conducive to creativity.
My aim is to express serenity and clarity in all their nuances. I don’t have a problem mixing in folk voices and touches of pop with an openly melodic jazz style. I feel close to Carlos Jobim, Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen all at the same time. This project has helped me approach my feelings in a more direct way.
Swiss pianist, Leo Tardin, wins the 1999 Montreux Jazz Festival International Piano Competition whilst still studying at the New School University in New York.
Soon after he sets up his project Grand Pianoramax and signs to the ObliqSound record label based in Paris and New York. Four albums and two 12 inches released internationally are the fruits of this collaboration, followed by the “Big Easy” EP and “Soundwave”, the fifth Grand Pianoramax LP, both released on Mental Groove Records (2015/2106).
Numerous tours take him and fellow Grand Pianoramax band members Black Cracker and Dom Burkhalter to Mumbai, Berlin, Paris, London, Prague, Istanbul, Rome, Milan, New York, a tour of the USA with Maceo Parker and performances at such festivals as Tokyo Jazz Festival, SXSW in Austin, (TX), Montreux Jazz Festival, Paleo Nyon Festival, La Vilette Jazz Festival and Jazz a Vienne to name a few.
In addition to his solo piano and Grand Pianoramax projects, Leo Tardin has worked with well known artists such as Roy Ayers, The Last Poets, Les Nubians, Maria Joao, Erik Truffaz, Enrico Rava, Toots Thielemans, Burhan Ocal and Paula Oliveira with whom he recorded three albums for Universal Music.
Born in Geneva, Leo Tardin lived in New York for ten years followed by two years in Berlin before setting up base back in Geneva.