285

Globe Unity: Spain

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count








Afinke

En la Cuerda Floja

R3cords

2009


Santiago Latorre

Órbita

Accretions

2009


Agusti Fernandez

Un Llamp Que No S'Acaba Mai

Psi

2009


The Spanish jazz scene got off to a slow start, most notably in the mid '60s with the launch of the San Sebastián festival, but has flowered considerably in the intervening half-century, particularly around the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, producing a range of artists from late hardbopping pianist Tete Montoliu to flamenco-jazz fusionists Chano Domínguez and Paco De Lucia to drummer Jorge Rossy and Fresh Sound-New Talent label president Jordi Pujol.

En la Cuerda Floja is the sophomore release of Barcelona-based pianist/composer Jordi Berni featuring his trio Afinke (with bassist David González and drummer Xavi Hinojosa, joined by tenor saxophonist Santi de la Rubia) in a varied set of well-written and arranged originals. "Caminke" is particularly catchy and the closing cut contains a hint of Flamenco in its melody and chords. Hewing close to the hard bop mainstream, the tracks contain effective transitional sections, strong soloing and cohesive rhythm section support, giving the album a satisfying overall flow.

Órbita, by sound engineer Santiago Latorre, another Barcelonian, calls to mind Bill Evans' Conversations with Myself or Moon (an indie sci-fi film in which an astronaut plays ping-pong with his clone), both works that use studio 'overdubbing' to patch in interactive doppelgangers. The opener, "Canon," is just that, with four separate alto sax lines echoing each other in orderly succession, becoming more disorderly as the track progresses. Much of the disc could be perfect accompaniment for a rave, undulating 'washes' of robotic blips, trance beats, industrial-strength bass, white-noise snowstorms, reverse loops, ghostly calliopes and a grab-bag of synthesized sound effects. The techno pastiche is humanized by improvised alto saxophones and acoustic and electric pianos, often layered in complementary pairs.

Un Llamp Que No S'Acaba Mai documents a concert by pianist Agustí Fernández (a leading light of Barcelona's freer fringe) with bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders (both from London's improv scene) at the Sigüenza Jazz Festival. Here Fernández and Co. perform the festival's first ever offering of totally improvised music, a set that, according to the liner notes, opened the ears and "doors" of many uninitiated listeners. And a worthy entrée to the outré it is: from the first feathery rumblings and light harmonics of the bass, complemented by chromatic fragments from the piano and whispering bells and gongs, the music crackles like a slowing heating hearth, hums like a hive and winks and twinkles like stars in a compelling segue of mercurial soundscapes.

Tracks and Personnel



En la Cuerda Floja

Tracks: En la cuerda floja; La sonrisa maldita; Nuria; Interludio; Caminke; Sus-pendido; Cuantos somos; Confusión; Flamenco blues.

Personnel: Jordi Berni: piano, David González: bass; Xavi Hinojosa: drums; Santi de la Rubia: tenor sax.



Órbita

Tracks: canon; naufragio; órbita; le sobrevive, le sobrevive a todo la frialdad; despedida; la espera; viajando en rosa; alpha-globin; preludio.

Personnel: Santiago Latorre: alto sax, electronics.



Un Llamp Que No S'Acaba Mai

Tracks: Primo; Secondo; Tertio; Quarto.

Personnel: Agusti Fernandez: piano; John Edwards (bass); Mark Sanders (drums).

Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues" Multiple Reviews Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago" Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!