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The term "elegance," is rarely utilized when referring to a jazz recording. In fact, "elegant jass"might be an oxymoronic term. Sure, The Modern Jazz Quartet always performed in formal wear, and Duke Ellington evoked gracefulness in response to his advertised "jungle music," but jazz has always bumped up against the high brow ceiling of more orthodox music.
Enter the Aurora Trio of pianist Agustí Fernández, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Ramón López. Their music (lets call it poetry) increases the sophistication factor tenfold. Their original music is equivalent to Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio.
A Moment's Liberty is their third release following Morning Glory (Maya, 2011) and Aurora (Maya, 2006). The disc opens with a lengthy (18-minute) Fernández composition "A Moment's Liberty." The pianist, playing solo, favors sumptuous notes and rich balladry. Even after his bandmates enter the tone is inspired and celebratory. Fernández, who like his partners, has never shied away from the scramble of free jazz and improvisation, finds a richness in those sounds between the notesthe unspoken and the silent. Throughout the recording, the maximum is accomplished with a minimalist approach. It's not that there are not eruptions of energy here and there, it's just the introverted, intimate nature of the trio's approach overshadows the unreserved portions.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.