Bassist Fernando Huergo mixes Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and mainstream jazz grooves on Living These Times, an energetic collection of original music for the East Coast-based Blue Music Group label. The Argentinean-native is aided by an outstanding cast of musical companions, including vocalist Luciana Souza, flutist Anders Bostrom and pianist Alan Mallet.
With the amount of bass solos heard throughout the recording, there's no mistaking this is a bassist's project. As a soloist, Huergo is exceptional, demonstrating horn-like flourishes on both electric and upright bass. Tunes such as the opening "Albiazul," "The Reason We Don't Get Along" and the title track feature extended bass/percussion breakdowns with chops-heavy excursions. The breezy "Lejania" finds Huergo's lyrical fretless bass in sync with the wordless vocalizing of Souza.
Although the disc emphasizes the Berklee College of Music instructor's prowess on electric bass, Huergo is also a highly adept upright player, as demonstrated on the ballads "La Agonia del Rufian Melancolico" and "Zamba Para Jorge y Emiliano." Huergo's well-crafted compositions, built around the energetic pulse of drummer Steve Langone, leave plenty of open solo space for flutist Bostrom and tenor saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart. The disc's only cover, "How High the Moon," is a raucous Afro-Cuban arrangement featuring pianist Malleta disc highlight.
Living These Times is a vibrant musical statement from a charismatic voice among jazz bassists.
Track Listing: Albiazul; La Agonia del Rufian Melancolico; The Reason Why We Don't Get Along; Lejania; Living These Times; Zamba Para Jorge y Emiliano; How High the Moon; Moonlight Over Somerville; October; Afterwards.
Personnel: Fernando Huergo: bass, composer; Luciana Souza: voice; Grazyna Auguscik: voice; Anders Boström: flute; Eric Galm: percussion; Steve Langone: drums; Alan Mallet: piano; Ole Mathisen: saxophone; Pernell Saturnino: percussion; Jacques Schwarz-Bart: saxophone; Juan Cruz de Urquiza: trumpet; Ben Wittman: drums.