Saxophonist Roberto Dominguez inherited his love for music from his father, who was a folk singer and guitarist. Dominguez began studying guitar when he was 13, however four years later his world changed when he heard Wayne Shorter
at a concert in Buenos Aires. Dominguez switched to the tenor saxophone and was such a quick learner that he soon displayed enough skill to play with some of the leading musicians in Argentina.
Dominguez honed his talent in Boston and New York studying and performing with a host of American musicians including Shorter. He was then drawn to Brazil where he imbibed and incorporated the local rhythms into his music. Back in Argentina, he went on to perform with several indigenous musicians and formed his own group, Quinteto Urbano, which recorded three albums.
On Soy Sauce the band plays the music of Luis Alberto Spinetta, an icon of the Argentine rock scene. Though Spinetta began as a rock musician, he later gravitated to pop, fusion and jazz, keeping the underlying essence of the native pulse in his compositions.
The canvas for the music is made resplendent by the compositions, with the band members providing dynamic playing through both empathy and thought. Dominguez has a compact sense of phrasing, never letting the moment slip as he navigates his way through interesting inventions. Juan Pablo Arredondo (guitar) is a remarkable cohort, adding an adjacent voice as he lets the guitar sing alongside the saxophone. With Jeronimo Carmona (bass) and Carto Brandan (drums) showing excellent taste, the CD gravitates close to the soul.
Spinetta's melodies jump out of the groove and Dominguez gives them an immediate presence, eclipsing the obvious to bring in his own perspective. On "Era De Uranio," a springing beat begins reflectively, before he drives it into a hard bop mode. Arredondo's timbral sensibility is crystal, his linear development of the theme impressive. That attribute gets a stronger drive as he plays full-bodied notes on "Wendolin." This is a delicious outing possessing an immediate charm, with the snaking lines of the melody undulating from the soprano saxophone. Dominguez then briefly steers it into a more trenchant passage before returning to acknowledge the melody.
"Parvas" is loose limbed, the flexible pulse letting the band move in a wider sphere. Floating sax lines rove the atmosphere before settling down into a melody. The bass punctuates the beat at odd intervals and the drums respond with crisp accents. Nothing is the same.
"Por" pairs Dominguez with pianist Ernesto Jodos. The interaction is earthy and intense as they trade asymmetric ideas and melodic interlocutions in a wellspring of imagination. It is the perfect finale to an engaging musical journey.
Personnel: Rodrigo Dominguez: tenor and soprano saxophone, arrangements; Juan Pablo Arredondo:
guitar; Jeronimo Carmona: bass; Carto Brandan: drums; Ernesto Jodos: piano (8).