Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Sumrrá: 6 Mulleres

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
Throughout the history of jazz, musicians have looked to figures inside and outside of music for inspiration. In this tradition, the Spanish trio Sumrrá created their album, 6 Mulleres, as an homage to six women from the recent past and contemporary times who rose up and successfully challenged prevailing archetypes. Sumrrá indicates on its website that the album is a ..."21st Century contemporary musical approach to feminism." The album is an ode to positive change.

But it is also much more than that. Dignity pervades each composition, as if through the compositions and musical interpretations, one can experience the challenges these women faced as they sought justice. It is music of reverence, beauty and sadness all rolled into one.

Bassist Xacobe Martinez Antelo composed all tunes but one, the lone exception being "Masala Yousafzai," which was written by pianist Manuel Gutiérrez Iglesias. All of the pieces offer probing and emotionally rewarding musical themes, melodies and phrases. And all of the pieces feature the exquisite drumming of LAR Legido, who manages to find the right balance between control and intensity.

"Frida Kahlo" kicks off the album with an edgy rock-like repetition of notes by the bassist and Iglesias' left hand while the right hand carries the theme as single notes. There's a brief break featuring a twangy bass solo and then Iglesias takes over with a line that climbs and swirls over the beat. In this number, and on other numbers throughout the album, Iglesias seems to prefer single-note attacks while his chords suggest modal jazz. Legido keeps a solid but understated rhythm. Antelo provides a probing bass solo as the piece winds down.

There's a cloud-forest beauty to "Malala Yousafzai," like the summit of a tree-lined mountain path where all below can be surveyed. Legido's cymbal work is highlighted above Iglesias' lyrical exploration. Iglesias adds an ostinato Keith Jarrett-like phrase. The piece ends back where it started, perched high above a mountain gorge.

In "Rosa Parks," Legido's syncopated attack complements the funky piano phrasing. Then the piece rolls out with almost McCoy Tyner-like energy. The phrases feature sharp contrasts—funk and elongated phrasing alternate. Iglesias hops aboard a bluesy lick of individual notes and full chords as Legido provides power underneath. There is amazing synchronicity between piano and drums while Antelo holds the structure together with his bass lines.

"Qui Jin" has a Latin feel. The bass pivots against the piano, and Legido uses the cymbals to frame the beat. The bass then walks, switching to a salsa rhythm. Iglesias takes over with a solo of single notes above chordal changes. The playing is intense and the improvisations are tight and fiery. The piece disassembles into a kind of splash, as drums, piano, and bass bowing go into free fall together.

The syncopated piano and bass opening of "Nawal El Saadawi" features Iglesias' right-hand single note attacks as his left generates a rotating, haunting pattern. Then the left takes over the melody. The beat thumps like a human heart. Legido's work is especially noteworthy throughout the piece, as he adds and embellishes the sparse melodic phrasing with all-over drumming. The effect is a beautiful song that gracefully advances to its conclusion.

Sad but poignant, "Rosalia de Castro" suggests a lone walk along the seashore, pondering the beauty and the sadness of existence. It begins with the bass playing single notes under piano chords. Subtle yet intense, the song's impact is heightened by Iglesias' attacks and Legido's drumming.

Though certainly skilled, Sumrrá's music on 6 Mulleres is not about technique. It is about how technique can covey deep emotions and reverence for historical and contemporary figures who have fought for change. As is true of those movements that have altered human history, these compositions speak to progress under duress, a kind of fearlessness in the face of overwhelming odds. The talented trio brings these musical dedications to life. This is significant music. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Frida Kahlo; Malala Yousafzai; Rosa Parks; Qui Jin; Nawal El Saadawi; Rosalía de Castro.

Personnel: Xacobe Martínez Antelo: bass; Manuel Gutiérrez Iglesias: piano; L.A.R. Legido: drums.

Title: 6 Mulleres | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Clermont Music



comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
6 Mulleres

6 Mulleres

Clermont Music

5 Journeys

5 Journeys

Clermont Music



Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Glenn Astarita
February 22, 2019
Read The Largo And The Lame Album Reviews
The Largo And The Lame
By Mark Corroto
February 22, 2019
Read Sun Of Goldfinger Album Reviews
Sun Of Goldfinger
By Dan McClenaghan
February 22, 2019
Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019