Like the classic game Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots where the goal is to literally knock the other opponent's head off, Catalan drummer/composer Xavi Reija delivers plenty of head-banging good times in his power trio date Resolution. Yet this isn't your typical fusion-esque recording as it takes some unexpected detours from the progressive-rock idiom with its panache and methodology.
A graduate from Berklee School of Music's class of 1999 and widespread activity in Barcelona's eclectic music scene, Reija's wellspring of experience and chops are evident. True to form, there are thundering rhythms, a pulsating low-end from bassist Bernat Hernandez and scorching riffs provided by Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic. While sonic jams such as the contagious "Unfinished Love" totally rock the house, other pieces are filled with freedom and exploration from the simpatico trio.
"Flying to Nowhere"'s stress-free presence juxtaposes melodicism and heavy metal as Reija's multilayered percussion traps fuel atmospheric guitar tones. "Macroscope" is as thrilling as hang-gliding over a mountain with a breathtaking vista. It highlights Hernandez playing an impressive fretless solo with Jaco Pastorius-like ease as Jevtovic silhouettes the theme with ethereal noises in tandem with Reija's jazzed beats.
The musicians are clearly having a blast as they work creatively through the program's multi-textured set with elements of ambient-noise in "Dreamer" or gritty avant-punk in "John´s Song." Whether jamming through undulating changes in the "Abyss" or the artistic changes of "Gravity" and the title track, the trio captures a unique balance of sound, performance and improvisation.
Track Listing: Flying to Nowhere; Macroscope; Shadow Dance; Dreamer; Abyss; The Land of the Sirenians; Unfinished Love; John´s Song; Resolution; Gravity; Welcome to the End.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.