Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra: Cordoba (2011)
While some might be tempted to call this twelve-piece aggregation a "little big band," that title would diminish the scope of Giraudo's music. His use of careening instrumental textures, dovetailing riffs, shifting terra firma and individualistic solo voices helps to make his group a true jazz orchestra, in the best sense of the term. Giraudo takes this band on an eye-opening journey through his world, and each member acts as one piece of a colorful puzzle. This odyssey contains odd-metered music with intensely vibrant sounds and driving rhythms ("Parte II," "Pueblo"), graceful and reflective ruminations of a peaceful nature ("Latente"), and songs that marry Giraudo's personality with a Maria Schneider-esque savoir faire ("Sol Naciente").
Giraudo's bass is always at the center of the action, but that doesn't mean the spotlight is always pointed in his direction. He's apt to steal the show with an acoustic bass solo ("Sol Naciente") or set the orchestra up with a spicy electric bass riff ("Duende Del Mate"), but he also knows when to turn the spotlight on the fine musicians that he brought into the fold. Will Vinson's soprano saxophone work always stand out and, while the lack of soloist information makes it hard to give credit where credit is due, both trumpeters (Jonathan Powell and Tatum Greenblatt) and trombonists (Ryan Keberle and Mike Fahie) are superb as they bring out the natural flavors in Giraudo's arresting compositions. Giraudo's unique skills in spinning a Latin latticework of rhythm and creating kaleidoscopic collisions of wonder help to make Córdoba a locale worth exploring.
Track Listing: Visitas [Visits]; Pueblo [Village]-Parte I, Parte II and Parte III; Sol Naciente [Sun Rising]; Duende Del Mate [The Dwarf Of Mate]; A La Escuela [The Road To School]; Latente [Dormant]
Personnel: Will Vinson: alto saxophone; soprano saxophone; flute; Todd Bashore: alto saxophone, flute; Luke Batson: tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Carl Maraghi: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Jonathan Powell: trumpet; Tatum Greenblatt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ryan Keberle: trombone; Mike Fahie: trombone; Jess Jurkovic: piano; Jeff Davis: drum set; Tony De Vivo: cajón; Pedro Giraudo: acoustic bass, electric bass.
Record Label: Zoho Music
Style: Big Band