Contemporary Jazz musicians in Argentina are looking back into the prosperous relations between jazz and tango. Some of them rescue popular tangos and approach to them from the formal treatment of jazz traditional combos (i.e. Adrián Iaies Trio, El Teceto). Some re-armonize old themes or recreate them by improvising over known melodic motives, as Luis Salinas. Others just pick out harmonic hues and rhythmic patterns or imitate the phrasings of a bandoneon or a milonga guitar, which Quinteto Urbano carries out compellingly. In their first album, Jazz Contemporáneo Argentino, they choose a few tango elements and melt them into new materials for riffs, solos and colective improvisation (the afluence of Argentine folk music, as chacareras and sambas, whispers in some pieces too). A Porteño tint dyes the fabric of the themes but stitches remain invisible and textures varied.
The rhytmic set achieves both fluency and precision thanks to Guillermo Delgado's drive and swing, added to the melodious virtuosism of Oscar Giunta. Delgado aged 30 have formerly played with Norberto Minichilo, Diego Urcola, Armando Alonso and studied in the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Oscar Giunta Jr., one of the most required drummers in Argentina because of his versatility, sensitiveness and melodic sense, with only 25, has already played in jazz, pop, funk, tango and fussion recordings; he has shared jam sessions with Herbie Hancock and Dave Holland, and also integrates the Adrián Iaies Trio. Criterious Diego Schissi (aged 31, a pianist with a tanguistic and folkish formation in Argentina and ample jazz experiences in the University of Miami) due to his creative richness turns out to be a perfect hinge.
On the front-line, brasses sound sharp and luxurious about riffs and heads; lyrical and fervent when improvising. Juan Cruz de Urquiza (a 35 years-old and long experienced trumpeter who has played with Paquito D'Rivera, Johnny Coles and Argentine musicians as Luis Salinas, Horacio Larumbe or Roberto "Fats" Fernández; he teaches at the Berklee College in Buenos Aires) blows out a pulid and vivid sound. In his solos he may let himself go in frenzy rushes of burning notes for periods of long breath or just sprinkle the harmony with three exact and colourful notes. Rodrigo Dominguez (also a Berklee student, who played with important Argentine jazzmen as Javier Malosetti or Mono Fotana, and recorded with Guillermo Bazzola), in tenor as well as in soprano sax, expresses himself with eloquence. His improvisations develope ideas through a phrasing that comes in and out of the harmony and they often go in crescendo to the paroxysm. Performances and improvisations show, in average a high level and in several spots they strike lofty peaks, and enhance the album with highlights of moving beauty.
Instruments intercomunicate fluently and they talk about a new sensibility: conversation abounds in calls and replies, and playful quotations, not lacking irony. The recording evidences a fine conceptual work: music becomes onomatopoeic, and reaches a figurative dimension. The quintet succeeds in making you feel the inminence of an indian raid, or involving you in the nervous agitation of a rush hour, or getting you on a trembly train trending to the countryside. Performers has composed (arranged, recorded and produced) all the tracks, which prove Quinteto Urbano's originality, cleverness and self-confidence.
Back from their successful performance in Festival de Jazz de Los Siete Lagos in Bariloche and San Martín de Los Andes (in the Argentine Patagonia), they announced that in December they will record their second release.
Tracks: Malón, La Búsqueda, Rara, Dandy, Allá Lejos, Cuando Desansa, Hora Pico, Gotando, Trenes, La Fresca.
More information available in Spanish on www.epu21.com.ar/2000/quinteto-urbano/home.htm