ramon lopez Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Agustí Fernández/Barry Guy/Ramón López: A Moment's Liberty

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The term “elegance," is rarely utilized when referring to a jazz recording. In fact, “elegant jass"might be an oxymoronic term. Sure, The Modern Jazz Quartet always performed in formal wear, and Duke Ellington evoked gracefulness in response to his advertised “jungle music," but jazz has always bumped up against the high brow ceiling of more orthodox music. Enter the Aurora Trio of pianist Agustí Fernández, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Ramón López. Their music (lets call it poetry) ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Agusti Fernandez - Barry Guy - Ramon Lopez: A Moment's Liberty

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The powerhouse international trio's third effort radiates an uncanny, or perhaps uncommon framework combining beauty--due to Agusti Fernandez's lyrically rich and gorgeous statements--coupled with power and free-form elaborations. For instance, on the 18-minute opener “A Moment's Liberty," Fernandez opens with solitary phrasings via lush balladry while transmitting a sense of loneliness until the band embarks on a topsy-turvy voyage, drenched with slippery deviations and drummer Ramon Lopez's rolling wave type patterns. Aided by the translucent audio engineering, you ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Agustí Fernández / Barry Guy / Ramón López: Morning Glory

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In what could easily mistaken for a release on the ECM label, Morning Glory inhabits that crisp minimalist style so familiar to producer Manfred Eicher. Surprisingly enough, this studio recording, with bonus Live In New York disc, is delivered by three of today's most zealous improvisers and outcats. Formed in 2005, the trio's previous release, Aurora (Maya, 2006), began bassist Barry Guy established their improvisation bona fides with saxophonist Evan Parker's intellectual explorations and Mats Gustafsson's noisier ones. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joachim Kühn / Majid Bekkas / Ramon Lopez: Chalaba

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The sleeve notes to Chalaba describe German pianist and alto saxophonist Joachim Kühn as a veteran “of the conscious avant-garde." This is certainly accurate--he's worked with Archie Shepp and Ornette Coleman, among others--but the description sounds rather forbidding, a portent of some serious and complex sounds for the mind but not the body. Thankfully it misleads: for while Kühn, vocalist and guembri player Majid Bekkas, and percussionist Ramon Lopez do produce some serious music, they also create some splendidly joyous ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joachim Kuhn / Majid Bekkas / Ramon Lopez: Out Of The Desert

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Boundary busting and inventive though it was, Kalimba (ACT, 2007)--the first album by German pianist Joachim Kuhn, Moroccan vocalist and guembri player Majid Bekkas, and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez--ultimately felt like Kuhn's album more than a fully integrated, cross-cultural group exercise. Two years on, the trio's second outing, Out Of The Desert, offers a deeper mix--and an altogether more absorbing one.

Kalimba was recorded in Germany. For Out Of The Desert, the trio travelled to Morocco. In the ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Ramon Lopez: Kalimba & Drums Solo II: Swinging with Doors

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Joachim Kuhn and Majid Bekkas Kalimba (with Ramon Lopez) ACT Music 2007 Ramon Lopez Drums Solo II: Swinging with Doors Leo 2007

Despite the virtuosic complexity of Joachim Kühn, Majid Bekkas and Ramon Lopez' new album Kalimba, its most moving moment occurs when Bekkas' course, gorgeous vocals begin the chorus on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joachim Kuhn and Majid Bekkas with Ramon Lopez: Kalimba

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While it's easy to categorize the assimilation of diverse musical cultures as world music, the term has become over-utilized and often misrepresented. German-born pianist Joachim Kühn, Moroccan guimbri/oud player Majid Bekkas and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez intersect on Kalimba, an album that should dispense with oversimplified categorization. Instead, assessed on its own merits as an album that looks to capitalize on the strengths of everyone involved, it carves out its own distinctive musical niche.

This isn't the first time that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joachim Kuhn & Majid Bekkas with Ramon Lopez: Kalimba

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Like the spectacular bouffant hairstyle he's sported since the 1970s, pianist Joachim Kuhn's music is at home in two, generally discrete traditions: intellectually rigorous, harmonically complex, longhair conservatoire music and a less cerebral strand of world jazz driven by vamps and grooves. Sometimes Kuhn keeps the two traditions apart--as on his classically oriented solo albums--at other times, as on Kalimba, he brings them together, in a sort of modal chromaticism, to their mutual advantage.

It's tempting, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Agusti Fernandez / Barry Guy / Ramon Lopez: Aurora

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It would be a fallacy to think that any musician who inhabits the world of free improvisation wishes that world to be a noisy chaotic place. Indeed, one cannot make any assumptions these days about free players, whether it be based on age, background or collaborators. Though Spain has not produced the avant-garde swarms of other places in Europe, it has a respected ambassador in pianist Agusti Fernández. But to call Fernández avant-garde is another fallacy. Call him flexible, call ...


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