Music

Solo

Syncline (2023)

French pianist and composer Jean Kapsa shares a beautiful mini-album, Syncline’, out on all digital platforms via LEITER. A collection of six solo pieces, it was recorded at night between September and November 2022 in Kapsa’s home in Paris on the piano his parents gave him when he was just 15 and which he still keeps in his living room, surrounded permanently by microphones. Most of it consists of first or second takes,” he says, usually recorded not too long after a piece’s composition — and often on the same day — so that the mood was the same. If I wasn’t happy after three takes, I usually gave up. I wanted the listener to be able to witness this intimate, fragile way of building an album made up of very new, personal, precious pieces.”

Syncline’ manages to be all those things: intimate, fragile, personal and precious. And it’s also performed with rare skill. Kapsa’s connection to LEITER dates back almost a decade to the loft he was sharing with seven other roommates in 2014. The place was really special,” he recalls, and one evening La Blogotheque came to film the band Real Estate with a little group of guests as the audience. I knew that a pianist friend of the producer had been invited to join us after the concert, but it was a surprise to see Nils Frahm arrive. Afterwards, while people were tidying up, I sat at my piano, the same one on which I’d later record Syncline’, and started to improvise. Nils came over and joined me for twenty minutes or so. You could say we introduced ourselves without words.”

So impressed was Frahm that he not only insisted Kapsa stay in contact, but also invited him to perform a duet, Hammers’, at the Philharmonie de Paris the following night for a show broadcast by ARTE. Afterwards, Frahm explained to the crowd how they’d met the previous evening: I was like, Who’s that? He’s way better than me!’” Still, it would be another eight years before they encountered one another again, though in the meantime Kapsa added to what was already a flourishing catalogue, with two solo albums, 2019’s Haïku’ and 2020’s Vespera’, joining 2012’s Improvisations’, not to mention multiple releases, before and since, with some of the many bands in which he performs. Over the years, you see, Kapsa has built up an impressive reputation in the French capital’s jazz scene, where he’s particularly appreciated for his improvisational skills.

releases November 24, 2023

Music by Jean Kapsa
Produced by Jean Kapsa
Mixed by Nils Frahm
Mastered by Zino Mikorey
Cover image by Klaus Frahm
Cover design by Torsten Posselt
Artistic support: Pauline Laulhe


Vespera (2020)

Haïku (2019)

Improvisations (2012)


Trio

Jean Kapsa, piano
Antoine Reininger, double bass
Maxime Fleau, drums

La Ligne de Kármán (2015)

Parhélie (2011)

Greenland Road (2009)


Quartet

Damien Fleau, saxophones
Jean Kapsa, piano
Maxime Fleau, drums
Oliver Degabriele, bass

Inside Stanley Kubrick (2018)

Mad System (2015)

Family Tree (2013)

Festen (2010)


Quintet +1

Arnaud Desprez, tenor sax 
Pablo Arias, alto sax 
Gabriel Levasseur, trumpet 
Jean Kapsa, piano 
Emmanuel Forster, double bass 
Raphaël Chevalier Duflot, drums

The Leap (2019)


Albums

You can find most of the albums on my Bandcamp page, and on the usual digital platforms.

title, group, label, year

Greenland Road, Kapsa Reininger Fleau (SP1, 2009)
Festen, Festen (SP, 2010)
First Pages, Benoit Berthe Back Quartet (SP, 2010)
Festen Live, Festen (SP, 2011)
Parhélie, Kapsa Reininger Fleau (Mélisse, 2011)
A Capivara Selvagem, Corezzi Kapsa Prazeres (SP, 2012)
Improvisations, Solo (SP, 2012)
Family Tree, Festen (SP, 2013)
Travel’s Appeal, Benoit Berthe Back Quartet (Saint Louis School, 2013)
La Ligne de Kármán, Kapsa Reininger Fleau (Mélisse, 2015)
Episodes, Benoit Berthe Back Quartet (SP, 2015)
Mad System, Festen (Prado Records, 2016)
Alleycat, ReBop Quintet (SP, 2016)
B-Sides, Festen (SP, 2016)
Inside Stanley Kubrick, Festen (Laborie, 2018)
The Leap, ReBop Sextet (SP, 2019)
Haïku, Solo (SP, 2019)
Vespera, Solo (SP, 2020)
Replicant, Festen (Laborie, 2023)
Syncline, Solo (LEITER, 2023)
Piano Day Vol. 3, Solo (compilation, LEITER, 2024)


  1. SP = self-produced↩︎