The powerhouse international trio's third effort radiates an uncanny, or perhaps uncommon framework combining beauty--due to Agusti Fernandez's lyrically rich and gorgeous statements--coupled with power and free-form elaborations. For instance, on the 18-minute opener A Moment's Liberty," Fernandez opens with solitary phrasings via lush balladry while transmitting a sense of loneliness until the band embarks on a topsy-turvy voyage, drenched with slippery deviations and drummer Ramon Lopez's rolling wave type patterns. Aided by the translucent audio engineering, you could probably hear a pin drop during the quieter passages, but even when the band is going for the gusto ...read more
Aurora Trio: Agusti Fernandez, Barry Guy and Ramon Lopez Dachau Kultur-Schranne GermanyOctober 26, 2013 In an artform as mutable as jazz, nothing is ever finished. So it was that even in the soundcheck, Catalan pianist Agusti Fernandez and virtuoso English bassist Barry Guy were still tweaking some of their arrangements. Not that you would have known once the Aurora Trio got underway, such was the obvious pleasure taken in the spontaneous interaction between the threesome. This evening's concert in the upstairs room of Dachau's elegant Kultur-Schranne--housed in the old school, nestling next to venerable church ...read more
An improviser's take on 20th century Spanish classical music might seem like odd subject matter for a worldclass free jazz pianist like Agustí Fernández, but El Laberint de la Memòria ("The Labyrinth of Memory") testifies to the artist's imagination and facility. In addition to being a member of several of Evan Parker's ensembles, recent sessions by the mega-talented Fernández's have included Joe Morris' Ambrosia (Riti, 2011), Peter Evans and Mats Gustafsson's Kopros Lithos (Multikulti, 2011) and, with the pianist's famed trio of Barry Guy and Ramón López, Morning Glory (Maya, 2011). Fernández was commissioned by ...read more
Although their Trio Local, with saxophonist Liba Villavecchia, has been well-documented for over a decade, Vents is the first duo recording from pianist Agustí Fernández and Joan Saura, on live electronics and sampling keyboard. The album was recorded in Barcelona, between July 2009 and February 2010. It is well-titled, and so are its tracks, which share their Catalan names with the eight winds from various compass directions. Time and again during the album, this seems entirely appropriate, as the musicians conjure up sounds reminiscent of whistling wind or its effects such as ominous vibrations and rumbles; yes, they often make ...read more
Much like conceptual artist Piero Manzoni's Merda d'artista project, trumpeter Peter Evans, pianist Agustí Fernández, and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson present this all-acoustic improvisation session called Kopros Lithos, or fossilized dung."In 1961, Manzoni set about to produce 90 cans of his own feces as a limited edition art piece. In 2007, one can sold at auction for 124,000 Euro.This project refers to dinosaur droppings, a much prized fossil. Indeed, the group's sound (which is occasionally musical) draws from minimal improvisation, noise, and plenty of surprise. All three players are part of the cutting-edge tradition of improvised music: ...read more
Pianist Agusti Fernandez and bassist Barry Guy are two great solo improvising musicians that have a rare talent to cooperate in music making, combining their talents for an ever greater sound. So the question is, why haven't they recorded a duet until now?
Spaniard Fernandez is an original voice, perhaps best described as the love child of the disparate styles of Cecil Taylor and Keith Jarrett. That said, he can shred (if that is possible) the piano and alternately produce wrenching passages that force an emotional pause. His collaborations in duo have been, perhaps his finest moments. Highlights include Critical ...read more
Albums by pianist Agusti Fernandez and the group Octante (as well as the concurrent release of Barcelona Chronicles by guitarist Derek Bailey) provide a timely opportunity to celebrate the dynamic improvised music scene of Barcelona, Spain. The profile of the city's improvisers has steadily grown in recent years, not least because of the work of IBA (Improvisers of Barcelona Association), a collective of improvising musicians and dancers, which organises concerts around the city, often in private homes. The work of IBA has attracted many improvisers from other countries to Barcelona to play with its members.
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