82

Miguel Fernandez-Vallejo: El Perro

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Miguel Fernandez-Vallejo: El Perro El Perro is the leadership debut for Barcelona-based tenor saxophonist Miguel Fernandez-Vallejo, though he has appeared previously as a sideman on the Fresh Sound roster. In a counterintuitive move, he is teamed with another tenor saxophonist, Miguel Villar, in a piano-less quartet rounded out by Colombian Juan Pablo Balcazar on bass and fellow Spaniard Gonzalo del Val on drums. Together they explore the modern mainstream through eight original pieces penned from across the band, but united by an understated melodicism.

Though one has a lighter tone and an almost Websterian breathiness on occasion and the other has a harder edge, veering slightly more towards dissonance in his features, the two tenors inhabit similar territory. Inexplicably then, there is no differentiation as to who plays what, leaving me none the wiser as to their respective merits. Balcazar keeps things moving insistently without crowding, and takes some delightfully lyrical solos. Del Val is stylish without being fancy.

A varied program, imaginatively arranged, sustains interest with this restricted palette, from the unhurried title track, with its introductory breath sounds and urgent tenor drifting into the higher registers, to "Equinox - Silent Walk," with its martial beat juxtaposed against a mournful theme. On "Bad-Dream" the group is augmented by flute and vibes for an exploration of pastel shades. "Escrich Sobre Schoenberg" is the drummer's tune and closes the album on a funky note, drawing the most animated solo of the set from one of the tenors, but fading out just as he builds a head of steam. In all a solid set for those who like their jazz tasteful and lyrical.


Track Listing: El Perro; Los Colores de la Ambiguedad; Love Song for my Father; Iberian; Equinox - Silent Walk; Bad-Dream; Lo Llaman Amor; Escrich Sobre Schoenberg.

Personnel: Miguel Fernandez-Vallejo: tenor saxophone; Miguel

Title: El Perro | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Thick as Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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