Xavi Maureta & Adam Kolker: La Perfeccio de la Irrealitat (2008)
Initially, great melodies rule the day, but the band takes a detour when it gets to "JV," opening with the drunken ramble of five barflies determinedly singing a song they only half-remember. Dissolving into abstraction, the group partially reconstructs it, dissolves it again, and closes in a puddle of notes.
"Meditacio No. 2" initially suggests that improvised music is going to carry the day. Adam Kolker and Dick Oatts chase each other up and down their saxophones like a pair of children playing tag. But the song resolves into a hard-swinger, with a jamming Bruce Barth piano turn. It's a surprising resolution, and a reminder of music's ability to travel through unexpected spaces.
As co-leader with Kolker, drummer Xavi Maureta & Adam Kolker deserves special notice for displaying a real sense of musicality in an uncommonly refined performance. On the balladic "Paradiso?," he uses soft mallets on his toms to create fuller, rounder throbsmore like actual notes than strikes on a drum head. His playing is intricate, with subtle inclusions of wood blocks, or the unexpected closing of the high-hat.
La Perfeccióde la Irrealitat is a serious effort, whose successes lie in strength of composition, stellar musicianship, and an intricate but fluid ensemble feel. Its subtle touches make the difference between being a good jazz album and a great one.
Track Listing: La Condicio Humana; Only One; Minina Or Favor; La Perfeccio de la Irrealitat; JV; Meditacio; Ski; Whirlyngig; Paradiso?; Para Dos.
Personnel: Adam Kolker: tenor and soprano saxophone; Dick Oatts: alto saxophone; Bruce Barth: piano; John Hébert: double-bass; Xavi Maureta: drums.
Record Label: New Mood Jazz Records