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Alexa Torres: In Situ

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Alexa Torres: In Situ
With balletic verve, Latin violinist Alexa Torres goes about her debut disc, the hugely confident, ear and eye opening In Situ, with an inquisitive gusto and aplomb that belies her thirty-one years.

A skilled, peer-reviewed ethnographic researcher, Torres is also the first woman and first violinist to graduate from the University of North Texas jazz strings program. And she brings a wide open palette to the proceedings. Knowing through science and instinct, study and practice, that any particular piece of song, of style, of flavor and flourish works to create the whole panoramic story. In Situ is full of grand histories.

Take for instance the very first track, Wayne Shorter's "Yes Or No" from his classic JuJu (Blue Note, 1965). By its title alone, it appears cut and dry enough to convince any jury. But Torres' muse is swirling from the get-go. And it is infectious from the get-go. So, not wanting the lady to have all the fun, Fender Rhodes sounding guitarist Mario Wellmann, quick witted bassist Josh Newberry and drummer Jordan Proffer jump in head first and the track whirls. Subtle but more abstract in design, "When the Wind Breaks the Chime" evolves from its free form origins to a more structured sense of composition while tts melodic bent inspires the layman to hum along. It is a neat trick and one hopes others in the jazz field emulate.

Benny Golson's "Along Came Betty" is one of those oh-so-easy swaying concoctions that places the here and now in a much sunnier and much better place. Wellman's clear, sparkling tones dance opposite to and in synch with Torres on "Consolidation" while Newberry and Praffer juggle the rhythmic details between them. Torres and company close out with a hot take on Thelonious Monk's "We See," a jump blues percolator that leaves one wanting more. The only complaint? In Situ entices for just barely forty minutes. Hopefully that means more for her next outing.

Track Listing

Yes Or No; When the Wind Breaks the Chime; Along Came Betty; Consolidation; Inútil Paisagem; We See.

Personnel

Album information

Title: In Situ | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced


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