All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...


David Virelles & Nosotros at Jazz Standard

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
David Virelles & Nosotros feat. Román Díaz
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
January 31, 2018

Since touching hallowed ECM ground in 2013, pianist David Virelles has opened minds of listeners far and wide. Despite the expansive reach of his art, however, the experience of hearing it live is nothing if not inward. Joined for two nights at Jazz Standard by percussionists Román Díaz and Keisel Jiménez, along with bassist Rashaan Carter, Virelles proved that at its core improvisation is about getting in touch with your own.

Dampened block chords set the tone for an evening of honest unraveling. Every note spilling from his Steinway seemed to lead us underground, where darkness was punctuated by beating and bassing. Occasionally Díaz broke the spell with splashes of bells, luring the audience away from the temptation of fantasy and into vivid reality. Such catharses were peppered throughout, each a signpost along the path toward parsing the quartet's spiritual grammar. Theirs was indeed a cosmic impulse made flesh, glorified in chants and other intimate rituals. Expectations were thus challenged at every turn. Rather than coalescing from hints and fragments, grooves fell as if from cloudy skies like the voices of souls whose language is knowable only to the initiated.

Even in light of these ephemeral associations, Virelles's playing was resolutely tactile. He was the hardworking heart, a living reminder that instruments are comprised of the same minerals and atoms from which our bodies are spun. Even at rest, his energy was kinetic and forward-seeking. Although grooves were never ends to a means, whenever he did guide the band into head-nodding territory, it was only to underscore an inescapable mortality. Every time Virelles laid a field, Jiménez and Carter would chase the setting sun across it, erasing a path even as they drew it. They did so not to kill the future but to revive ancient days. Any symmetries existed only to be broken, as when shades of montuno convention left the frame just as quickly as they entered it.

Yet it was Díaz who punched our guts in the most loving way possible. He was a force among forces, restoring equilibrium by his very presence, made whole by acceptance of life's retrogression. He spoke in poetries of elemental division and congruence alike. His quest sought no answers, because no questions needed to be asked. All the more appropriate, then, that no titles were announced, for none would've held purchase anyway in the palimpsest of our hearts. These brothers in resonance felt everything before they played it, and played everything only as they felt it. This was music of the marrow.


comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


ECM Records



ECM Records



ECM Records



ECM Records



Makor Cafe



Pi Recordings


Related Articles

Read Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall Live Reviews
Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall
by Rob Garratt
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at Koncertkirken Live Reviews
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at...
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2 Live Reviews
Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2
by James Fleming
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn Live Reviews
Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Flow Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Flow Festival 2018
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge Live Reviews
Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano" Live Reviews Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery" Live Reviews Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: December 10, 2017
Read "Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018
by Luke Seabright
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room" Live Reviews Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Jazz Jantar 2017" Live Reviews Jazz Jantar 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Instant Composers Pool at The MAC" Live Reviews Instant Composers Pool at The MAC
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 8, 2017