Argentine pianist Marco Sanguinetti
mocks any attempt to position himself in a defined style or genre. This gifted composer and jazz improviser and his trio Pibe-A previously recorded complete interpretations of Radiohead's Kid A
and Pink Floyd
's Dark Side of the Moon
. But on his fourth solo project, 8
he deliberately focused to write compositions with distinct aesthetics.
Sanguinetti's compositions mirror his search for local, urban sounds of his hometown, Buenos Aires. The recording of his acoustic band is expanded and enhanced with live, everyday sounds from the city, mixing the imagined musical abstractions of Buenos Aires with actual, random sounds and voices. All compositions are defined by simple melodies, short songs, without solos or improvisation development, and features musicians with great genre flexibility. The eight compositions correspond with eight illustrations of Argentine painter Leandro Castelano, representing graphically the conceptual argument of music, with the piano scores included.
Within these binding aesthetic boundaries Sanguinetti weaves careful, multi-layered, beautiful and concise mini- suites that sound surprisingly rich and daring, all suggest evocative reflections of a vivid city. The rhythmic "Cuchillo" is introduced with playful percussive sounds of Sanguinetti hammering on the piano strings and the bows of double bassist Jeronimo Carmona
, and cellist Leila Chero on their instruments strings, locked in drummer Fermin Merlo
's light pulse, before Sanguinetti takes the lead. "Ruedas" feature Sanguinetti in an expansive and powerful solo, climaxing when the piano resonates with the distorted city sounds. "Camino" is a passionate song and Sanguinetti echoes his emotional piano playing with the harmonium.
"No lo sabemos..." is a contemplative blues number that accompanies the voice of John Cage
reciting aloud thoughts about the futile attempt to define music and love. Vocalist Victoria Zotalis delivers the touching ballad "La ventana" with a soft, dreamy voice. "Navigator" magnifies patiently, a simple chord till the climatic, roaring coda. Sanguinetti and Chero correspond with the dense, dramatic city sounds and sits suggestive voices on "San Telmo." The short and playful "Claramente" with the soaring guitar solo of Mariano 'Manza' Esain ends this arresting set of imaginary portraits of a loved city.