187

Fernando Huergo: Live at the Regattabar

Joshua Weiner By

Sign in to view read count
Though released on Fresh Sound's "World Jazz" imprint, this live album by Fernando Huergo's Jazz Argentino band captures a fantastic set of Latin-influenced modern jazz that does not deserve to be pigeonholed. Bassist and composer Huergo reunited the musicians that made 2002's Jazz Argentino studio album (save for new pianist Mika Pohjola) for a burning gig at Boston's Regattabar, recorded in excellent fidelity for WGBH Radio. Expansive and exploratory, with memorable tunes (all by Huergo), excellent solos, and compelling rhythms, Huergo's music will have broad appeal.

The kick-off track, "Chacarera Para El Diego," is a clear standout. Huergo begins the main theme on electric bass (which he seems to favor simply for its fluidity and consistency of tone, since the sound he gets is classic rather than fusionesque), soon doubled on piano. A percussion break and a new, sinuous bass/piano vamp cues up an exciting series of solos, beginning with saxophonist Chris Cheek. Cheek is an impressive player who is at home in any setting, judging from his fine work on many varied Fresh Sound sessions; his solo here is fiery and propulsive, and well-supported by interesting figures from Pohjola, who also solos to good effect. Huergo's solo is full of life, its melodic phrases constantly bouncing off of the percussion backing in intriguing cross-rhythms. Then the percussionists turn up the heat, soloing against the piano vamp, before the main theme comes back to close out the tune to wild applause.

So exciting is the "Chacarera" that one might expect the remainder of this long (74 minutes+) set to be a let-down. Not so. The other seven originals all contain wonderful moments: the pounding, low-end piano figures on "Che"; the lilt of "Esperanza"'s melody; and the insistent rhythm of "El Tren De Las Nubes," to name but a few examples. Throughout, Huergo's compositions meld South American folk musics seamlessly with jazz, and the band is astonishingly tight, considering that each of the players is involved in multiple other projects.

This is one of the more consistently enjoyable live recordings in recent memory, and is highly recommended listening for fans of exciting jazz, "world" or no.


Track Listing: Chacarera Para El Diego; Che; Lucero; Esperanza; Serrana; El Tren De Las Nubes; Elusive Happiness; Espejos

Personnel: Chris Cheek, tenor and soprano saxophones; Mika Pohjola, piano; Fernando Huergo, bass; Jeff Ballard, drums; Franco Pinna, bombo and cajon

Title: Live at the Regattabar | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Moon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Originals For the Originals CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Killing Bugs CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Speechless" CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Regards To You II" CD/LP/Track Review Regards To You II
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor