Montevideo native and Barcelona-based bassist Antonino Restuccia is a talented composer and inventive improviser. His elegant and introspective third release, the absorbing Otro Camino exhibits these aspects of his artistry, together with his superb leadership skills to their fullest. Heading a cohesive quintet primarily of Uruguayan musicians, Restuccia interprets eight of his enchanting originals.
The lyrical "Himno (Al Bastion)" opens with pianist Mariano Gallardo Pahlen's contemplative chords which quickly meld into yearning and effervescent rhythmic flourishes. Within this dramatic ambience, trumpeter Juan Olivera blows burnished wistful lines with grace and warmth, Restuccia embellishes the melody with eloquence and agility and also exchanges emotive refrains with Pahlen.
Pahlen adds electric undertones to the title track. His chiming keys resonate against the percolating beats of drummer Juan Ibarra and percussionist Santiago Acosta. Restuccia's poetic solo undulates within the captivating ensemble performance.
The theme of spirituality, together with a mellifluous approach, conceptually unifies the album and also makes it poignant and stimulating. "La Espera" for example is a taut and haunting piece. Restuccia and Pahlen take turns in the spotlight extemporizing on the main motif with suave creativity and reserved passion. Ibarra provides a restlessly rumbling backdrop for his band mates.
The centerpiece of the recording is the mystical and intriguing "Trance." The opening vamps lead to an English language recitation about the universality of music both deep within people and all around. Over Ibarra's rustling brushes, Restuccia and Pahlen take a melancholic duet which sets the stage for their respective improvisations. Acosta and Olivera enter, contributing a delightful vibrancy to the hypnotic conclusion.
This sophisticated, Latin-tinged work showcases Restuccia at his most mature. His creativity and adroitness give the disc its singular sound. With it Restuccia has proven himself a fresh voice to be reckoned with, as well as an artist of superlative skill and vision.
Nadie se baña dos veces en el mismo río; Himno (Al bastión); Trance; Otro camino; Lo que no fué (y lo que es); La
espera; Evocación; Gana toda la vida.