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In this lively session of original compositions, guitarist Francisco Pais leads his quintet through hot impressions that entice and excite. Not afraid of color? They're not afraid of anything. They love originality and show it with their unbridled enthusiasm. The sound is contemporary, and yet the quintet remains firm in its portrayal of jazz tradition.
Based in New York, just under thirty and a cum laude graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music, Pais has energy, ambition and desire. It's paying off on schedule. He proves through his music that the creative spirit can release thousands of impressions at once. His guitar soars in passionate displays that weave strong ties with his bandmates. Their cohesive union makes for a strong foundation, which in turn releases a creative tide.
Transfiguration blends the timbres of the Rhodes with guitar and soprano saxophone for a light swirl of activity. Drummer Ferenc Nemeth ensures that the session's colors never fade, maintaining a consistent scramble alongside. Pais and saxophonist Chris Cheek like to work in unison to begin a piece, and they work in parallel to create virtual firestorms. They return to the unison for a calmer period from time to time, but never stray too far from their exotic mood.
Desert of Colors opens with guitar and tenor octaves alongside cooler piano chords. Impressionism takes over as the quintet follows Pais' lead through a vast ocean of solitude where musical thoughts come unadorned and free of any emotional burden. There's release upon release. Like rolling sand dunes, the quintet's format rolls evenly while the music builds and wanes. In the process Pais establishes a magical ballad countenance that enchants.
The recording closes with "Charmed, a somber piece that features pianist Leo Genovese in a lovely dream sequence, bracketed by a warm tenor/guitar fury on both ends. This fresh look at jazz's modern mainstream comes highly recommended.
Track Listing: Water from the Moon; Gratitude; Tides; Always Dreaming; Melody for Damien; Transfiguration; Lift Your Head From the Sand and Face Reality; Desert of Colors; Charmed.
Personnel: Francisco Pais: guitar; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Leo Genovese: piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano; Massimo Biolcati: bass; Ferenc Nemeth: drums.