Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos: Carrera (2012)
From the very first bars of "Burrito Hill," it is clear that Klein is profoundly attracted to "tradition" and sees himself as one who expounds the musical beauty that exists in his Argentinean milieu. Moreover, what he creates is an extension of that tradition he so admires, not just in terms of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic content, but more broadly in terms of keeping the historicity of music alive; here he seems to continue both with the genealogy of the musicians past as well as in reimagining Argentinean forms in a contemporary setting, making them his own. His rust-colored vocals add significant charm and beauty to his music as he lets his voice dally over words and phrases in a somewhat atonal manner. This in itself is another instrument that Klein adds to his considerable ensemble. Uniquely, he is also able to guide the timbre of each and every instrument into playing with a burnished halo; thus trumpeters Diego Urcola and Taylor Haskins blend their uniquely personal voices into the weeping Ensemble, as do saxophonists Chris Cheek and Bill McHenry.
"Burrito Hill" is a spectacular tribute to Gil Evans, the man who, along with the great pianist, Bill Evans (no relation), reintroduced impressionism to the musical idiom of jazz. The feature here is the dramatic interplay between the rhythmists of the ensemble, with trumpeter/percussionist Richard Nant keeping the rhythm beautifully off kilter. "Globo" is an aching lament and it is here that Klein and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon's vocals add remarkable color to the music. Nant's own "Niños" is a prancing little tune based on a children's song. "Mariana" is a glorious feature in a clever rhythmic 5/4 rhythmic figure. In "Mareados," a feature composed by Juan Carlos Cobián and Enrique Cadicamo, Klein has cast his own dreamy glow on the lyrics while adding a canon for piano and guitar in a beautiful bridge attached to the composition. His idea was to create a picture where time was an illusion and this is masterfully rendered here.
Perhaps the most significant moments of the album come almost as an escalation in the second half and culminate in "Carrera," which crowns this unforgettable album from Guillermo Klein.
Track Listing: Burrito Hill; Globo; Niños; Mariana; Mareados; ArteSano; Moreira; The Habit of Memory; Piano Sonata Op. 22; Carrera.
Personnel: Richard Nant: trumpet, percussion; Ben Monder: guitar; Miguel Zenón: alto saxophone, flute, vocals (2); Sandro Tomasi: trombone; Taylor Haskins: trumpet; Chris Cheek: tenor and baritone saxophones; Jeff Ballard: drums; Fernando Huergo: electric bass; Guillermo Klein: piano, Rhodes, vocals; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Diego Urcola: trumpet, trombone.
Record Label: Sunnyside Records