4

Joan Torres's All Is Fused: Before

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Joan Torres calls his group All Is Fused. Before, the band's début recording, features electric bass, electric guitar and (mostly) electric keyboards. Is this a fusion album?

Yes and no. Torres knows his fusion history, and appropriates from it with a sure touch. On "Doorway," the group channels the light samba sound of pianist Chick Corea's Return to Forever (ECM, 1972). On "Another World" and "The Chase," in contrast, they draw upon the rapid-fire guitar lines (here, doubled on electric bass) heard on drummer Billy Cobham's Spectrum (Atlantic, 1973), equally derived from bebop and heavy metal.

But elsewhere, the sound is one of energetic bop ("Vicissitudes") or mid-tempo post-bop ("Disbelief," "True"). In short, this is intelligent electro-acoustic jazz in the vein of Donny McCaslin's Perpetual Motion (Greenleaf, 2011), not the pile-driving rock-funk sound of Headhunters or other mid-1970s purveyors of the fusion genre.

Pianist David Ojeda and guitarist Sergio González, in particular, are given generous solo space. Spirited, if at times a little green, soloists, each achieves transcendent moments. Alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo, meanwhile, is more assured, and on "Disbelief" renders a solo of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley-like bluesy fluency. Drummer Fernando García is especially imaginative and energetic on the upbeat numbers.

Torres himself is reserved as a soloist. When he steps forward (as on "Disbelief" and "True"), he offers a tasteful and restrained improvisation.

The compositions display a dynamic and stylistic diversity; they tend to be pleasing sequences of chords more than appealing melodies.

Torres and his young confrères are part of an effervescent young jazz scene in Puerto Rico. Another leading light of that scene is guitarist Gabriel Vicéns, whose fine, ambitious début Point In Time (self-produced, 2012), preceded Before by a few months. (Vicéns's record also featured Suazo's alto sax.) Vicéns takes the guitar chair on the last two cuts of Torres's record, where his matrix-like improvisational approach complements perfectly the sound of Torres's group.

Track Listing: Doorway; Another World; Vicissitudes; Disbelief; True; The Chase; Tragic End; Enlightenment.

Personnel: Jonathan Suazo: alto saxophone; David Ojeda: piano; Sergio González: guitar (1-6); Gabriel Vicéns: guitar (7-8); Joan Torres: bass; Fernando García: drums.

Title: Before | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Open Book" CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Cherry ‎– Sakura" CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)" CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.