Album info



Label: ACT Music

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Contemporary Jazz

Artist: Grégoire Maret & Romain Collin

Composer: Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 44.1 $ 13.20
  • 1Once Upon a Time in America (Deborah's Theme)03:26
  • 2For a Few Dollars More: Watch Crimes01:14
  • 3The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Ecstacy of Gold06:28
  • 4Suoni Per Dino04:41
  • 5Once Upon a Time in the West (Intro)00:54
  • 6Once Upon a Time in the West02:30
  • 7Cinema Paradiso03:06
  • 8Se Telefonando04:13
  • 9Chi Mai - Le Professionnel03:40
  • 10The Sicilian Clan03:53
  • 11Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man02:18
  • 12Man with a Harmonica06:00
  • Total Runtime42:23

Info for Ennio

How do you follow up a successful album like “Americana”? Released in April 2020, it not only received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, it has also registered streaming statistics approaching ten million. It brought together harmonica player Grégoire Maret and pianist Romain Collin, performing in a trio with Bill Frisell in which the three found happy common ground in their “shared love of jazz, song and pure melody” (Jazziz), and offered listeners a "gorgeous meditation on the American Dream." (Bill Milkowski).

“Americana” and Maret and Collin's subsequent work together helped to cement a friendship between these two fine New York-based musicians with Francophone origins (Geneva and Antibes respectively). As Collin says: “There is something about the way we work together that feels very fluid and natural.”

Maret and Collin established quickly that watching films featuring the music of Ennio Morricone had been an important part of family life for both of them, and a strong part of what had initially drawn them towards music. “Those movies, and the way they incorporated the music really stayed in my mind.” remembers Maret. And when the great man died in July 2020 at the age of 91, it affected them both deeply. Maret, for example, was to regret that a plan to include him in some of Morricone’s later concerts had sadly never come to fruition. But above all, the musicians felt a deep affinity for Morricone’s music: “We are both naturally drawn to the European sensitivities, the romantic language,” says Collin.

Collin remembers experiencing a certain caution as they started to think about following this thread running so deeply through both their musical pasts, and making an album: “If we’re going to do it, it has to really add something,” he remembers thinking. So they both started to research Morricone’s oeuvre intensively and to immerse themselves in it. “We really wanted to find out what he was really like as a person and a musician,” Maret remembers. This led to them contacting Morricone’s official biographer Alessandro De Rosa. They had several conversations with him during the pandemic. De Rosa has written an illuminating sleeve note in praise of the album.

“We wanted as many sounds and colours as we could possibly get, because this is such a part of Ennio Morricone’s music,” says Maret. The sheer range of Morricone’s work comes across vividly in “Ennio”.The unmistakably personal is certainly there: a track where strong emotions from the musicians’ childhoods come through vividly is“Chi Mai” from the film the film “Le Professionel”. Both recall watching the film as children. So, logically, it is performed as a duet for harmonica and piano, but a careful listen reveals another sound in the bass: the subliminal resonances of Collin playing an antique pedal harmonium.

“Once Upon a Time in the West” - a film score which, unusually, was composed before the filming - and the other Sergio Leone “Spaghetti Westerns” are also there. And perhaps the least surprising thing about “Ennio” is quite how well the Italian’s music suits Maret’s “big-hearted sound” (Ottawa Citizen): Maret has been advised by countless people, and for longer than he can remember...that it would. And yet a careful listen to this collection reveals unexpected treats and gifts which never seem to stop.

Surprises, for example, come from the stellar array of guest musicians. Maret says he felt truly blessed to hear from Cassandra Wilson that she liked the idea of writing new English words for Mina’s “Se Telefonando” a ‘labour of love’ – Maret has been in her band for a decade. And he was just as thrilled when Gregory Porter agreed to do the song as a duet with her. And the other instrumentalists bring magic too: drummer Marcus Gilmore “can do just about anything and he is an amazing person,” says Maret. Guitarist Marvin Sewell and bassist Burniss Earl Travis II are also Maret's colleagues from Cassandra Wilson's band and they make all kinds of intriguing sounds. And Collin has tricks up his sleeve as well: for example, he complements Maret’s sound on “Man with a Harmonica” with the eerieness of 1970s/80s rarities: a MoogCordovox White Elephant and a foot-operated analog synth, a Taurus. Alessandro De Rosa’s sleeve note for “Ennio” sums up the album very well: it “takes the listener through the complexity of Morricone’s multifaceted oeuvre and vividly portrays the emotional impact it has had on them. It is a journey that re-imagines and narrates this immensely significant contemporary composer in a way which is both new and authentic.”

Grégoire Maret, chromatic harmonica
Romain Collin, Steinway grand piano, keyboards
Marcus Gilmore, drums
Burniss Earl Travis II, double bass
Marvin Sewell, guitar
Alexandra Sopp, flute
Special guests:
Cassandra Wilson, vocals
Gregory Porter, vocals

Grégoire Maret
Grammy winner, Swiss born harmonica player and composer, Gregoire Maret moved to New York City at 18 years old to study at the New School University. Over the course of the past decade, Gregoire has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument - the harmonica - is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, the extensive list of heavy- hitters who have enlisted him for their own projects is unparalleled: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller are some of his most prominent employers, none of whom have the patience to employ novelty for novelty's sake. ​

His guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Raul Midón, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Charlie Hunter have all made use of Maret's unmatched palette of color. ​

Along the way, Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Herbie Hancock has called Maret "one of the most creative musicians around," while Marcus Miller has declared that he is "carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity." ​

In 2020, Gregoire in collaboration with French pianist Romain Collin and guitar visionary Bill Frisell have created "Americana". The music on Americana comes from the perspective of two immigrants to the U.S.; the Swiss-native Maret, and Frenchman Collin. "From their peaceful opener, a bucolic take on Mark Knopfler’s “Brothers in Arms,” to Frisell’s engaging, folksy “Small Town,” to Romain’s heartland anthem “San Luis Obispo,” with Maret doubling Frisell’s twangy electric guitar lines, this is all warm, comforting material. A heart-rending interpretation of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman,” Maret’s sweet lullaby “Back Home,” and the hymn-like “Still,” underscored by Frisell’s swirling, entrancing guitar loops, also weave a subtle spell on listeners." (Absolute Sound). Americana was nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album on the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (2020).

Romain Collin
is a Grammy-nominated pianist who has been praised by NPR as a "visionary composer" and hailed by the Boston Globe as one of the "leading lights of a new breed of jazz players." The NY-based, French- American musician has developed “a highly personal and contemporary vision” (A Blog Supreme, NPR), a style “unique and engaging without obvious influences” (All About Jazz) that seamlessly blends improvisation, electronic sound design, indie rock, and film scoring.

Collin's latest solo release, Tiny Lights... (XM, 2019), has been celebrated as "a unique voice, a crystal clear vision" by UK VIBE. He followed this up with a full-length album of remixes, Tiny Lights... RMXS (2021). To accompany this record, Collin created a long-form music video entitled SHE, in collaboration with director Matt Palmer, choreographer and dancer Alina Fatieieva, and lauded fashion designer Alexander Chen. SHE was selected for the Canada International Fashion Film Festival and the Istanbul Fashion Film Festival (2020), and was screened at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. In 2022, Collin also founded FOSS, a project that combines original electro-pop music with breathtaking visuals. FOSS has performed at Burning Man's famed Robot Heart, Catharsis in collaboration with digital artist Refik Anadol and visionary architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, the Shed for the Sonic Sphere, various art galleries and other cutting-edge performing arts venues.

Collin's debut album as a leader, The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn (Fresh Sound, 2009), was hailed as "an astonishingly mature and ambitious debut that secures Collin a placeholder in the continuing evolution of the grand tradition of the piano trio" by All About Jazz. He was soon after invited by legendary pianist Marian McPartland to her prestigious Piano Jazz show on NPR to discuss his artistic vision and perform solo piano. In 2012, Collin released his second album as a leader, The Calling (Palmetto). This opus was described as "a tour de force that showcases Collin’s strengths as an accomplished composer and virtuoso pianist of the highest order" by JazzEd Magazine, and as “a work of art that is worthy of being held onto for generations to come” (Eric Sandler, The Revivalist). His third release, Press Enter (ACT, 2015), was described by the New York Times as a "winning new album," hailed by Jazz journal, UK as an "absolute masterpiece," and praised by All About Jazz as an "extraordinary album."

Collin attended Berklee College of Music ('04), where he majored in Music Synthesis. He graduated from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz in 2007, where he held a Full Scholarship as the pianist of an ensemble handpicked by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard. During this time, he toured internationally with Hancock and Shorter, shared the stage with Marcus Miller, Jimmy Heath, and Terence Blanchard, and studied with the likes of Larry Goldings, Russell Ferrante, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller, and Wynton Marsalis.

Collin is a co-leader of several critically acclaimed projects, among them a group with harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret and guitarist Bill Frisell, which released Americana (ACT, 2019) and earned a Grammy® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. He has released two duo records with singer Sachal Vasandani, Midnight Shelter (Edition, 2021) and Still Life (Edition, 2022), which have been praised by RadioFrance as “music that speaks with emotion and feeling, that does not allow virtuosity to take precedence over the meaning, expression and feeling of the song”. Collin is set to release a couple of duo records in collaboration with Björk’s longtime engineer and music director, Bergur Thorisson.

Romain has composed numerous scores for films such as This Land (a feature documentary directed by Matthew Palmer), Anthem and Syria (mini-documentaries produced by Peace Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai), Le Brésil par la Côte (five-part feature documentary, 2014), Les Airventuriers (two-part feature documentary, 2015), various short documentaries for the United Nations Refugee Agency as well as numerous award-wining short movies.

Booklet for Ennio

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