Live in Paris at Fondation Louis Vuitton (Edition)

Elliot Galvin

Released January 24, 2020

BBC Music Magazine Greatest Jazz Albums 2020




Recorded live in concert at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris in April 2018, this album distills Elliot’s vision into its purest form, demonstrating once again that he is one of the most exciting contemporary pianists alive today, and able to travel effortlessly across a broad spectrum of acoustic and electronic musical settings.

The iconic Fondation Louis Vuitton building is a new cultural centre designed by the legendary American architect Frank Ghery adjacent to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne of the 16th arrondissement. Ghery’s extraordinary glass sails float above the surrounding parkland. According to Elliot: “It was a very inspiring building to play in. The concert hall itself was designed so that behind me, either side of the stage, were two man-made water features, very beautiful. The concert was recorded directly live in the space while I performed on a particularly beautiful Steinway D piano.” Elliot’s concert was completely spontaneous, free improvisation, an approach that matched the free-flowing lines of Ghery’s architecture.

‘This concert was created completely in the moment, nothing was pre-prepared or pre-planned. I was responding to that moment in time, to that audience, in that space. You have to be willing to share your complete soul with an audience, trusting them and yourself totally, making the deepest most human connection you possibly can. This record is a document of that moment we all shared. Strangers unified by sound’.

The novel and idiosyncratic nature of Elliot’s trio recordings has perhaps glossed his extraordinary talents as a pianist, and his improvisational ability, although critics have been quick to remark on these strengths: ”He is now a key player in the vanguard of contemporary British jazz musicians” (All About Jazz), “A wunderkind keyboardist and composer.” (BBC Radio 3, Late Junction), “The pianist Elliot Galvin is one of the rising stars of British jazz and a very talented composer and pianist.” (Radio Dreyeckland). That his compositional strengths move beyond arrangement and keyboard exercises is now made clear. Each of the tracks on this album demonstrates not only his ability to improvise to a very high level, but to arrange his musical ideas into compelling and moving forms in the instant. If this was not enough his artistry allows him to add that additional, indefinable element that every great artist expresses: soul.

This album captures a moment in time, an act of selfless bravery, an expression of absolute being, a sharing of souls. Recorded live in concert in April 2018, this album distills Elliot’s vision into its purest form, demonstrating once again that he is one of the most exciting contemporary pianists in Europe.

Track Listing:

Elliot Galvin: piano

Recorded live May 9, 2018, at Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France
Mixed by Sonny Johns
Mastered by Peter Beckmann January 2019
Produced by Elliot Galvin
Executive Producers: Dave Stapleton
Artwork Design by Oli Bentley, Split
Photographer JP Delmotte


As someone who probably had to grow a beard in order to look old enough to buy drinks at his own gigs, the prodigious musicality of Elliot Galvin is all the more noteworthy for having propelled him past the tyro stage directly into the ranks of the UK’s most credible improvisers/ composers/deployers of musical ideas. This album draws mainly on the first (and thus also on the third) of these skills and is a joy throughout. I’ve previously reviewed his earlier The Influencing Machine in these pages and while this solo piano disc is the former’s polar opposite in terms of concept and instrumentation, his fizzing energy seems to find an even more accommodating outlet in the here-and-now discipline of solo piano performance. These six pieces by turn cavort, leap, dive and worry away at themselves like hyperactive animals, with the contained length of the superbly-recorded set at this unique venue (Google it) serving only to concentrate the minds of both player and listener. Truly remarkable.

BBC Music Magazine