Juan Andrés Ospina: BBB (Barcelona Bogota Boston) (2012)
The jazz diary of pianist/composer Juan Andrés Ospina's BBB is an elegant, untethered tour of primary musical colors, with inviting light, angles and shadows. "Todavía No" states the theme with percussionist Austin McMahon's airy drums swinging, with tango punctuations. Saxophonists Ben Roseth and actually Matan Chapnizka dominate with flights of jazz fancy, though it is Ospina's piano that keeps the pulse more grounded. The pianist composed all but one of the tracks, but he is very much part of the ensemble.
"Palmaniche" has a pop hook and Colombian Cumbia back-beat, with Roseth's burnished accents on alto sax and Ryan Dragon's sinewy trombone linethe progressions glide to an unexpectedly dramatic finish. This is a fine example of the band's uncluttered song arcs.
"Al Chicamocha" has a Sunday morning urban sparkle, but swings freely and earnestly. Ospina is showy at the piano, but maintains a light, free spirit with intoxicating tango sprints; the sax hand-offs are razor sharp and the playing silky and glowing. The nine-minute "Amherst" is a breezy and shadowy ensemble flyby, with Ospina's wending, contrapuntal piano solo detours and McMahon's cascading rhythms.
Ospina's crisp articulation and Dragon's yearning blue trombone lead; Roseth and Chapnizka's sax flare builds a parallel drama. Hector Ochoa's baroque-like "Muy Antioqueño" is a waltz-time showpiece for the entire ensemble, featuring a sensual narrative and Ospina's keyboards.
With added horns and percussion, the closing "Yasé Mehoku Rira" is a rowdy Barcelona- brass bacchanal, its fiery blue musical flame illuminating one smooth dusk-to-dawn party. Folding local idioms into his musical travelogue, hopefully Ospina will get the opportunity to perform BBB live, and stay around for a long time.
Track Listing: Tracks: Todavia No; Palmaniche; Al Chicamocha; BBB; Muy Antioqueño; Amherst; Yasé Mehoku Rira.
Personnel: Juan Andrés Ospina: piano; Austin McMahon: drums; Ben Roseth: soprano and alto sax; Ryan Dragon: trombone; Matan Chapnizka: tenor sax; Andres Rotmistrovsky: electric bass; Marcelo Woloski: percussion.
Record Label: Self Produced