4

Gustavo Cortiñas: Snapshot

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
Gustavo Cortiñas: Snapshot Snapshot is a terrific release by drummer Gustavo Cortinas, featuring a dynamic combination of musicians who are all associated with the stellar Northwestern University jazz department. The group includes the department's head, the great tenor saxman Victor Goines, who has played with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Ray Charles to Bob Dylan. There's also guitarist Mike Allemana, who cut his chops with legendary saxophonist Von Freedman and then went back to Northwestern for a degree. And three recent Northwestern grads contribute a wealth of experience and enthusiasm: Roy McGrath on tenor, Justin Copeland on trumpet, and Kitt Lyles on bass.

In the leader's seat is Cortiñas, a recent graduate of Northwestern who was born and raised in Mexico City and spent time in New Orleans studying at Loyola. He's an intriguing combination of influences, and on Snapshot, the first release under his name, he brings these disparate worlds together beautifully. The nine compositions are all Cortiñas originals, showcasing his deep knowledge of traditional jazz forms, as well as his ability to throw these structures out the window and try something new.

"Timing Is Everything" is an excellent example of Cortiñas' ability to color within the lines. The first notes burst out strong and bold, and the tune keeps up the momentum throughout. The front line of Goines and Copeland sing out the strong melody line, while the rhythm section cooks up a fast and furious swing. Goines offers a tremendous solo, a powerful explosion of dancing lines, and Copeland follows with a solo that reveals his gorgeous tone. Another fine tune is the ballad "When I Leave You," a sensitive reflection on the poignant regret of parting. McGrath offers an unabashedly romantic solo, which is tenderly supported by Allemana's comping. Interestingly, Cortiñas revisits the tune at the end of the album with "When I Leave You (Another Perspective)." This time the song proceeds at a slower pace, as well as provides a real showcase for Copeland, whose trumpet slowly grows in power as the rhythm section shimmers beneath him.

Cortiñas also excels when he steps outside the traditional boundaries, as evidenced by the ten-minute showstopper "Skepticism." A meditation on his encounter with the philosopher Descartes, the song has an unusual shape, an expansive form that includes an exquisite bass solo by Lyles, a lively melody line, journeys into silence, a lithe guitar solo, and even a bit of cacophony. The structure and mood of the song are both unusual and highly satisfying. And "Wish... (Interlude)" is a drum solo by Cortiñas, revealing his marvelous blend of energy and economy, as well as his ability to wield a cowbell.

When an exceptional group of musicians like this joins together with their main teacher to create such pleasing music, it's proof positive that jazz education is thriving. Snapshot is full of honest music, played with exactitude and heart, and Gustavo Cortiñas is a gifted leader with a strong career ahead of him.


Track Listing: Timing Is Everything; When I Leave You; Chimeras; Skepticism; La Balada de León; Hanaki; Wish…(Interlude); Wish I Could Be There Now; When I Leave You (Another Perspective).

Personnel: Justin Copeland: trumpet; Victor Goines: tenor saxophone (1, 5, 8); Roy McGrath: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 4, 6); Michael Allemana: guitar; Kitt Lyles: double bass; Gustavo Cortiñas: drums, cymbals.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Real Talk
Kitt Lyles - independent
2015
buy

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Som før" CD/LP/Track Review Som før
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!