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Finding a gem in the crowded jazz world is always a pleasure. When that jewel comes from the Southern hemisphere, due consideration must be made. Although the album's title is a Japanese Buddhist term Satori, the orator is Chilean and the language is modern jazz.
Guitarist Gabriel Reyes from Santiago follows his debut quartet recording Trébol (Vertice Records, 2008) with this sextet session, adding trumpeter Derek Bittner and saxophonist Claudio Rubio to his Trébol band of Sergio Valenzuela (piano), Alonso Durán (contrabass), and Nicolás Ríos (drums).
Reyes is a skilled guitarist and composer, but the highlight here is the arrangements. He weaves each composition with a deft attention to group interplay. Like his contemporary peers, American Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Israeli Gilad Hekselman he presides over both a group and his individual sound. He can cut open a tune like "El 5," which begins as an electric solo, then Valenzuela's piano shadows Reyes as the entire sextet joins. The groove is taken from rock, but the soul is jazz. Rubio's saxophone could be mistaken for Joshua Redman's and Reyes has assimilated jazz guitar from Wes Montgomery to John Scofield. He takes liberties with bits of electronics on "Enero" playing some out loud guitar to counter Bittner's trumpet and Rubio's saxophone. The shortish piece begs for an extended live version.
Elsewhere, the electric funkiness of "Porcina" is disguised as a fusion piece, but it is also a well-tailored jazz composition. "Musubi" opens with a dark, black keys tone, interlacing horns and pacing this bluesy ballad. The title track skirts the same line, with Reyes providing the fireworks. He turns the volume up, making the most of his controlled yet clamorous sound.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com