85

Gabriel Vicens: Point in Time

Andrew J. Sammut By

Sign in to view read count
Gabriel Vicens: Point in Time Gabriel Vicens brings together simpatico colleagues from the scene in his native Puerto Rico and beyond to explore twelve of his works on the guitarist and composer's debut, Point in Time. Vicens' compositions explore quirky, catchy heads ("Point in Time," "Beautiful Place"), plenty of vamps ("La Diferencia," "Frame of Mind" and "El Camino") and medium tempo grooves blending straight-ahead and Latin rhythms ("El Comienzo," "Cuadro"). He also includes brief, abstract introductions to several tunes by one to two players.

Both Vicens' compositions and his guitar emphasize mood and space rather than chops or harmonic deconstruction. On the gently stepping "El Comienzo," he leans into and bends notes, displaying the gradually unfolding approach heard throughout this album. He often relies on repeated notes and quick passages fading into suspensions, for example on "La Diferencia." Rarely imparting a sense of intensity or cohesion, Vicens instead spins several reflective, varying ideas, best illustrated on the extended jam "El Camino."

Vicens' smooth tone (without any twang) and even lines jell perfectly with saxophonist Jonathan Suazo. "El Camino" begins with Suazo's slithering alto wrapping around Vicens' murmuring guitar, before both voices coalesce into an understated melody. On "El Comienzo" and the breezy ballad "Beautiful Place," Suazo catches Vicens' laidback aesthetic, while the title track and "La Diferencia's" funky ostinato feature Suazo's agitated bop runs and attractively acrid upper register. Tenor sax star David Sanchez guests on three tracks, with clean, metallic echoes on "Intro to Cuadro" and a flowing solo for "Cuadro." Sánchez ups the album's emotional ante, spurring Vicens to his most extroverted playing.

Point in Time's gauzy textures leave ample room to hear pianist Eduardo Zayas and drummer Vladimir Coronel. They respond subtly but powerfully to the collective, for example Coronel's crisp snare on "El Comienzo" and Zayas' empathic comping behind the leader on "Point in Time." Australian bassist Matt Clohesy provides firm support throughout, with bass legend Eddie Gomez replacing him on five tracks, offering nimble, concise statements and percussive effects on "Cuadro" and "Intro to El Camino."

Vicens points to influences from ambient music and post-rock as well as jazz, which explain the relaxed energy and atmospheric (occasionally static) character of Point in Time. While Vicens' future releases might benefit from hearing more of what the young artist has to offer, his debut still offers dynamic interplay and soul beyond mere mood-setting.


Track Listing: El Comienzo; Point In Time; Intro to La Diferencia; La Diferencia; Intro to Cuadro; Cuadro; Beautiful Place; Intro to Frame of Mind; Frame of Mind; Intro to El Camino; El Camino; The World In My View.

Personnel: Gabriel Vicens: guitar; Jonathan Suazo: alto sax; Eduardo Zayas: piano; Matt Clohesy: bass; Eddie Gomez: bass; Vladimir Coronel: drums; David Sanchez: tenor sax.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Days by Vincenzo Roggero
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Hibernation" CD/LP/Track Review Hibernation
by John Eyles
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by John Kelman
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Preston Glasgow Lowe" CD/LP/Track Review Preston Glasgow Lowe
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!